Update on concerns about soil contamination

Please see below an updated message from Kensington and Chelsea Council on concerns about soil contamination. 

“We know people are worried about possible air pollution and soil contamination. We aim to protect people’s health and safeguard them from harm. Recent media reports of an unpublished study by Professor Anna Stec suggest there may be toxic contaminants in soil near Grenfell Tower and across a wider area. This needs to be thoroughly investigated. We will take advice from both Public Health England and the Environment Agency to agree the nature and scope of any testing on this site, and elsewhere. Work on this is already under way. Crucially, we will also ensure community input into any testing. We will also take into account views expressed at the public meeting, to be held on 29 October 2018.


Health advice to the public remains unchanged:

-        Public Health England’s advice is that contaminated land is generally considered a very low risk to health because people would need to be exposed to the soil over long periods of time,  

-        If you are concerned about your health, you should contact your GP. Further information is available here:  https://www.grenfell.nhs.uk/physical-health

-        The air quality around the Grenfell Tower will continue to be monitored and the findings published by Public Health England. Results and general health advice is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/public-health-advice-following-the-grenfell-tower-fire

-        Advice about the preparation and eating of locally grown fruit and vegetables remains unchanged: they should be washed and peeled thoroughly before being eaten; also, anyone working or playing in soil should wash their hands well afterwards.  This advice has not changed since before the Grenfell tragedy.

KAA Planned Emergency Evacuation Drill

From Kensington Aldridge Academy:

“We wanted to get in touch to inform you that the school will be holding a planned emergency evacuation drill on Wednesday 17th October.

KAA parents have been informed of this by letter and text message today.  

It goes without saying that while we will want to do everything in our power to minimise any trauma and upset caused by the drill, we have a duty to carry it out robustly and in-line with national guidelines. The safety of our students will always be of paramount importance above all else.

If any residents have further questions please direct them to contact me on 0207 313 5800 ext 2 or via email address v.turner@kaa.org.uk.”

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Research

Lizzie McCulloch is a Researcher who has been commissioned by the charity Hestia to examine how effectively the Grenfell Tower Inquiry is meeting the mental wellbeing needs of the bereaved, survivors and residents. The research is asking what is being done well, what could be done better and what is missing from the Inquiry, with the findings and recommendations presented to the Inquiry team at the end of this year.

You can participate by taking part in an interview or submitting feedback via survey/email/letter/anonymous online link. Interviews can take place over the phone or in person and she is happy to travel to wherever is convenient for you. All contributions will be anonymised.

If you would like to take part or receive more information, please give her a ring on 07724561098 or email her on liz.research@outlook.com

RBKC Street Entertainment Consultation - Feedback

The council has shared some feedback on the Street Entertainment consultation which took place over the Summer, see link below for the full findings.


As developing a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) was supported by nearly 70 per cent of the respondents the Council will now carefully review the complaints data in order to draft a PSPO. The PSPO will promote and encourage responsible busking, whilst discouraging irresponsible anti-social busking and street entertainment. They will restrict busking and street entertainment in certain locations at certain times and may consider busking free areas. Their goal is not to limit artistic creativity, but to enhance the quality of life for residents and provide opportunity for entertainers.


Terry Oliver, Interim Director for Cleaner, Greener and Cultural Services is now working with colleagues in Legal, Noise and Nuisance, Street Enforcement and Community Safety to produce this PSPO, this will then require an additional statutory consultation which is anticipated to take place in late November.

Grenfell Young People's Fund open for applications

Kensington and Chelsea Council has contributed to a new Grenfell Young People’s fund which opened for applications this week.

The fund seeks to improve the lives of young people affected by the Grenfell tragedy and the young people themselves get to decide how the money will be used to help their community.

Organisations looking for funding to improve the lives of young people will now have to go before a panel, 80 per cent of which will be made up of young people from the local area.

Groups can now apply for grants of up to £45,000, paid out in installments of £15,000 per year over three years.

The Council donated £431,000 to the £1.27 million fund. The rest of the money comprises £574,000 donated by readers to the Evening Standard Grenfell Appeal, as well as £269,000 from Artists for Grenfell.

Priority will be given to organisations based in North Kensington with annual turnover less than £500,000. To be eligible, groups will seek to improve young lives in at least one of three areas:

1) Wellbeing mental health support, trauma therapy, sport, music and dance

2) Empowerment youth leadership, violence reduction, community cohesion

3) Work ready offering work experience, training, skills or qualifications

Applications for round one of funding should be made by noon on Wednesday 31 October 2018 to The London Community Foundation, the charity that manages the Dispossessed Fund, at: www.londoncf.org.uk/grants/grenfell-ypf

Please contact The Programmes Team at The London Community Foundation if you have any queries about the Fund at applications@londoncf.org.uk or 020 7582 5117.

Fire Drill at the Grenfell Site - 23 October 2018

Between 11am and 12noon on Tuesday 23 October, a fire drill will take place at the Grenfell Tower site. This is a routine process, designed to make sure those working on site remain safe. It is not in response to any issues with the Tower, which continues to be monitored and remains stable.

You may hear a siren and see teams working inside the building evacuate and assemble within the site. The site management team apologise in advance should you experience any disruption.

No action is required from members of the local community.

Working together for stronger communities

RBKC want your ideas, your thoughts, and your opinions on a range of local topics to strengthen our communities further and improve our future.

See further information here.

Through its new website - strongercommunities.rbkc.gov.uk – which went live yesterday, and through a series of community conversations, workshops and drop-in sessions, the Council and its partners are asking local residents, community organisations and businesses in North Kensington what matters most to them, so we can work together to address local priorities and aspiration and shape what happens in the future in this part of the borough.

They’ve already picked up lots of ideas from conversations with the community, and we are working to address them – but we’d love to hear more because we know things are always changing.

They’ve arranged 3 drop-in sessions, where you can find out more and tell them what you think:-

Monday, 1st October 11am – 2pm at The Venture Centre, 103A Wornington Road, W10 5YB

Monday, 8th October 2pm – 5pm at Tabernacle, Powis Square, W11 2AY

Thursday 18th October 12pm – 4pm at Kensington Leisure Centre, Silchester Road W10 6EX

There will be more to follow (details will be on the website).

Please do get in touch if you would like to arrange a separate conversation or workshop for your organisation.

The feedback from all the conversations, workshops and the website will be collated and set out at an Ideas Day in November where everyone will be able to take a look at all the feedback, check to be sure that their views have been accurately captured and have a further chance to have their say.

Everything will then be pulled together into a plan setting out what the community have said matters most to them and the steps that need to be taken to improve the lives of the residents of North Kensington.

Update 08 October 2018: the Council has arranged a number of additional drop-in sessions for residents to find out more about Creating Stronger Communities and share their views on what matters most to them.  Full details are on the attached flyer.

You can also share your views through the website: strongercommunities.rbkc.gov.uk

Fire Door Safety Week

From the British Woodworking Federation, the organisers of Fire Door Safety Week, a national awareness campaign that is now in its sixth year:

“I have written widely about fire safety in sleeping accommodation and the social housing sector over the years and I am haunted by what happened last year at Grenfell.

The appalling tragedy and the years of neglect that came before can never be allowed to happen again. There is still much more to do to ensure fire safety is kept at the forefront of people’s minds and standards within the industry continue to be raised.

As you and your members will know from your tireless campaigning, fire doors are critical to compartmentation. The sad reality however is that they remain a significant area of neglect, often the first thing to be downgraded and mismanaged, propped open, damaged and badly maintained. As a result, we created Fire Door Safety Week to raise awareness of the critical role of fire doors and urge landlords to be aware of their responsibility, and tenants to get informed and prepared by familiarising themselves with the fire safety protections and plans for their building.

Out of courtesy, wanted to make you aware of a series of short videos that will form part of the week, one of which is a tribute to the victims, survivors and bereaved of Grenfell. The powerful videos are designed to raise awareness, educate and keep the important fight for change alive.

There are additional useful resources available on our website found here: https://www.firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk/

Although Fire Door Safety Week officially runs for one week, we campaign all year round to raise awareness of the importance of fire doors and fire safety.

The first in the series of Fire Door Safety Week films has gone live. 

 “We’ve been here before” – calls on government, building owners, landlords & those involved in the fire & construction industries to come together to make buildings safe now. You can see the film on the Fire Door Safety Week website with an overview of the film https://www.firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk/powerful-film-released-ahead-fired-door-safety-week/?article=true

It’s also been tweeted out https://twitter.com/FDSafetyWeek/status/1043109091642617856

Four further films have now gone live for Fire Door Safety Week, including the tribute to the victims, survivors and bereaved of Grenfell.  Links to all below.  


In memory of the victims and in solidarity with the survivors of Grenfell


Smoke usually kills long before fire


The five step check

 How can you guarantee that a fire door is fit for purpose? The importance of third-party certification

Government update on the long term future of the Grenfell Tower site

Grenfell Tower Memorial Commission announcement

A community-led memorial commission is to be set up which will decide on the most fitting and appropriate way to remember those who lost their lives in the Grenfell tragedy.

The community-led Commission will be made up of representatives of the bereaved, survivors and Lancaster West estate – together with relevant public authorities, seeking the views of the local North Kensington area through its consultation process.

The Commission will develop a proposal for what happens to the Grenfell Tower site in the future, and decide how the memorial site will be owned and managed in the long term.

Its work is expected to take a minimum of a year, after which it will publish a report setting out its findings.

Over the coming months the community will be asked to nominate their representatives and an independent chairperson will also be confirmed.

For information on the Commission please contact: GTMCSecretariat@communities.gov.uk

The full announcement and the Commission’s terms of reference can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/memorial-commission-to-honour-victims-of-grenfell-tower-fire.


Gift from September 11 Memorial & Museum to Grenfell community

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum announced on 12 September that it is gifting a seedling from the Survivor Tree to the Grenfell community. The seedling has been grown from a tree that was badly damaged in the 9/11 terror attacks and survived.

Every year on 12 September, the Memorial & Museum donates seedlings from the tree to communities that have faced and overcome tragedies.

No decision has yet been taken on where the seedling will be planted, but it could form part of the longer term Grenfell memorial and be included and considered alongside any design proposals for the site, if this is the community’s wish.

Further detail on this announcement can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/memorial-commission-to-honour-victims-of-grenfell-tower-fire.

MHCLG Mobile Office at Unit 3 Baseline Studios

As of 11 September 2018, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) community engagement team will work from office 3 at Baseline Studios every Tuesday from 12pm-8pm.

As of 18 September, the mobile office will be based at The Curve, every Tuesday from 12-8pm.

This follows from the Government’s commitment that the Community will determine the long term future of the Grenfell Tower site, and that the Government will take control of the Tower until the community can determine the long term future.

These won’t be formal events, rather an opportunity for you to put a face to name and drop by and see the MHCLG in their mobile office if you would find that helpful.

BAY 20 - Steering Group Expression of Interest & Open Days

At the LWRA GM today, we had some representatives from the Westway Trust come and explain a little bit about what is going on at Bay 20. See further information here.

Below is a link to the online expressions of interest form for the steering group of Bay 20, in case you want to apply. The deadline for expressions of interest for the Lancaster West RA is Monday 17 September.


Here is a flyer inviting you to the two open days coming up, where you will be able to view the space. The dates are:

·         Sunday 23rd September, 12pm-5pm

·         Saturday 29th, September, 12pm-5pm.

If you have any further questions, get in touch with the Westway Trust - westway.org.

KCTMO Membership Application

KCTMO must continue to exist to respond to the police and public inquiries as well as any other legal matters related to its role in the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

KCTMO has a legal, as well as a moral, duty to act in an open and honest manner when responding.

Ensuring that it does so will be the responsibility of the KCTMO Board, whose members will play a huge role in this. 

Residents with KCTMO Membership also have a role; the rules on the operation and management of KCTMO cannot be changed unless Members vote in favour.

KCTMO recently sent a document to residents which proposed the abolition of resident Board members and the ability of Members to vote against rule changes. If successful, these changes would result in KCTMO losing what little accountability it has to the residents it was meant to serve, whilst also risking devastating consequences with far reaching implications to the Grenfell investigations and the quest for justice.

If the proposal by KCTMO to remove residents from the Board is successful, the lack of trust and low regard already felt for KCTMO would only increase; this would then risk damaging the credibility of the police and public inquiries.

The Hillsborough Tragedy has shown us what can happen if organisations tasked with serving the public instead serve their own - it has taken over 30 years to undo this damage for Hillsborough, KCTMO cannot be allowed to risk similar damage for Grenfell. 

Only Council residents from homes that were managed by KCTMO have the power to ensure this does not happen; we can all register for KCTMO Membership, which will give us the right to vote against any proposals that would damage the credibility and impartiality of KCTMO.

All residents of Lancaster West should qualify for TMO membership. See guidelines on how to apply here and an application form here

Residents should apply using the online version if possible, and check that they receive the email to confirm submission, then we can be certain the application will be processed.

Update from The DIY SOS Team

From The DIY SOS Team:

To Grenfell former residents and the wider community,

We are writing to you to let you know that a two part television series entitled “DIY SOS: Grenfell” will be broadcast on BBC1 on Wednesday 5 and 12 September at 9 pm. In the run up to the transmission of the first programme on 5 September, there will be trailers which will start going out on BBC 1 in the next few days.

The first episode will tell the story of the building of a new home for the Dale Youth Boxing Club and the second programme the following week will the story of building a new community centre. We appreciate that there are sensitivities around this for former residents and their families and we wanted to ensure you and your family and friends are aware of the programme before these programmes go out.

The boxing club programme talks about the history and success of the Dale Youth Boxing Club and its importance and impact on young people in particular, in the community. The community centre programme focuses on the community and how different groups such as a West Indian Dominos Group and mental health providers might benefit from the creation of the space. We have made clear that it is up to the community to decide how the space is ultimately used in a process that is currently ongoing.

An update on the community centre process: a steering group is being set up to decide who will be the community operator.  An expression of interest to be on the steering group is live and the deadline is September 7th. The tender for the community operator will be issued on September 3rd and it will be open for eight weeks. In the interim, the Westway Trust will manage the space but will not make any decisions about long term bookings. The Westway Trust will hold an open day so everyone can see the community centre during this process.

We would like to let you know in advance that both programmes include residents, eye witnesses, two current firefighters and other locals talking about their experiences of the fire on June 14th last year. It also includes some news archive of the fire and its aftermath.  It includes images and descriptions of what happened on the night which some people close to the events could find distressing.

We would like to assure you that we have treated this horrific tragedy with the utmost respect and sensitivity. We have also found positive stories in the community to tell. We hope we have left a small contribution to the community in these two buildings that have been paid for and built solely through donations worth over £2million.

If you would like any further information, please contact us at diysos@bbc.co.uk

We would like to thank everyone in the community who has met with us, helped us and contributed in any other way as we couldn’t have done this without that support. We really appreciate it.

Yours sincerely

The DIY SOS Team

Feedback on the Future of the West 12 Site

Lancaster West residents may be interested to know that Landsec, owners of the West 12 shopping centre site since 2005, are exploring options for the future of the site.

They are at a very early stage in thinking and planning for the future of West 12. They intend to consult with local people as their plans evolve.

At this early stage they'd like to know what you think currently works, what doesn’t and how you might like to see the site change.

See link with more information and online questionnaire here

Social Housing Green Paper - letter from the Housing Minister

From the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government:

“Dear all,

I wanted to bring your attention to the publication of the Government’s Social Housing Green Paper, “A new deal for social housing”.

I also wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for all of your help in facilitating the Grenfell focused workshops and for encouraging those you represent to participate.

The Grenfell Tower tragedy will have a lasting impact and it was right that the voices of those most affected were carried through and reflected and I know that both Dominic Raab and the Housing Minister Kit Malthouse consider these contributions essential to ensuring the quality of the Green Paper. 

We have attached a letter from the Housing Minister to those who helped shape this document and would be very grateful if you could share it on his behalf.

Many of the views expressed by those at the Grenfell workshops were also shared by social housing residents at the other workshops we ran across the country. You played a key role in helping us to ensure those voices were represented and I hope you will continue to engage with us on the consultative elements of the document.


The consultation is open for 12 weeks, until 6 November 2018.

You can find the Green Paper ‘A new deal for social housing’, here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/a-new-deal-for-social-housing. There you will also find information on how you can respond to our consultation and let us have any suggestions.


We have also published the Right to Buy Consultation https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/use-of-receipts-from-right-to-buy-sales which sets out our proposals exploring new flexibilities around how local authorities can use their Right to Buy receipts, so they can build more council homes.


We are publishing a Call for Evidence https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-social-housing-regulation-call-for-evidence which seeks views on how the current regulatory framework is working, alongside this Green Paper.


If you would like to receive a hard copy of the published document, please send an email to SocialHousingGreenPaper@communities.gsi.gov.uk or please write to us with your name and address.


Our address is:

Social Housing Green Paper Team

Fry Building 3NW

2 Marsham Street



Lancaster West Neighbourhood Team

The Lancaster West Neighbourhood team want Lancaster West Estate residents' views on what we want them to do over the next three years and how we want them to act. They are developing a three year strategy which will guide the work that they do and how they do it. This needs to be based on what we, the residents, want.

We need as many of us as possible to provide them with feedback. To do so you can either contact Shaun Haden at Baseline Studios in person or by following this link and completing the questionnaire.

They’ll use our comments to shape the Lancaster West Neighbourhood Team’s priorities and values for the next three years.

Feel free to drop in to the RA office and discuss this with one of the committee members if you have any questions.