Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1047/29254

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 June 2019

Angry Barking residents' meeting demands answers and action following fire

Around 150 angry residents attended the emergency meeting of Barking Reach Residents' Association after the 9 June fire, 13.6.19, photo by Ian Pattison

Around 150 angry residents attended the emergency meeting of Barking Reach Residents' Association after the 9 June fire, 13.6.19, photo by Ian Pattison   (Click to enlarge)

Helen Pattison, East London Socialist Party

Barking Reach Residents' Association hosted a large and angry meeting after the fire on 9 June which has left eight flats completely burnt and another 10-15 damaged.

There are a number of residents who have lost everything. The fury poured out of residents, demanding answers. But also demanding action!

None of the representatives of the different stakeholders in the estate or the government were let off the hook. One resident, whose flat has been completely burnt out because of the fire, grilled each of them in turn. She mostly received spluttered answers of "I'll have to get back to you on that".

To the representative from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government she asked why they weren't listening to the Fire Brigades Union's demand for the removal of combustible materials and why they didn't have more power to condemn buildings that posed a fire hazard.

Complicity

To the representatives of the private landlords and property managers, there were damning questions highlighting their mistakes, sloppiness and complicity in using what has been proven to be a dangerous material.

But the greatest anger was aimed at Bellway Homes which built the blocks. It has been forced to make concessions to the residents' demands - but it hasn't done enough. At first it said it would investigate the material and remove it if it was dangerous.

In answer, the residents said the fire is all the proof we need. Pressure forced Bellway to say it will remove the material from the flats but not the houses, which they would treat with fire retardant paint. The demand remains - remove the dangerous material now!

Faith in these big building companies to build safe homes has been completely destroyed. And why shouldn't it be.

These companies exist to make a profit, the material used was purely decorative, to push up the price of the flats, its safety not adequately considered. We need to kick private profit out of our homes.

The big building companies have built death traps, with 60,000 people still living in properties clad in the same material as Grenfell Tower.

These companies should be nationalised, alongside the swathes of land they plan to build on, so that safe, quality and genuinely affordable housing can be built. We should fight for mass council house building and cheap mortgages to end the housing crisis.

The day after the fire, an independent fire safety officer went round the neighbouring building which is a mirror of the burnt block Samuel Garside, and was built at the same time. At the meeting the residents were presented with a list of the problems identified.

This was all the proof residents needed to decide they want a residents'-led inquiry into the fire and safety of the buildings. This will include the testimony of residents which the residents' association plans to collect.

On top of this they should involve housing workers organised in Unite the Union, who have been working in a campaign with residents and tenants across London for safe and affordable housing, and defending housing association stock from sale.

These workers want to support residents and tenants, with their knowledge of the housing sector.

They should also contact the Fire Brigades Union, which can give evidence against the dangerous material being plastered on buildings and the mistakes over safety being made.

Revert back

Every time the residents thought they were making progress, the representative from Bellway would revert back to the company's position that all the flats would be in a liveable condition in the next six months.

The residents are understandably not happy with this. Returning to a building undergoing heavy reconstruction will be disruptive to families trying to get back to normal. But also traumatic for many who saw the building catch on fire so rapidly.

Bellway is currently building more homes on the estate. Through interrogation by the residents, it was discovered that not all of these flats have been sold.

Set aside

The residents demanded that the remaining flats are set aside for residents displaced by the fire. If Bellway continues to refuse to meet this demand the campaign should be stepped up.

Over shouts of "would you live there?" the suggestion was made to protest at Bellway's offices. Worry flashed over the faces of the stakeholders' faces when protesting was mentioned.

If residents don't feel their demands are being listened to or work completed fast enough, they should take their anger to Bellway's door.

By staying organised and piling on the pressure the residents could make real gains in the safety of their estate. But it will also show others the strength of ordinary people when we organise.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 19 June 2019:


What we think

While the Tories elect a new leader - prepare action to remove the lot of them


News

Welsh government must block NHS privatisation or face workers' action

Council cuts continue while reserves rise

Cancer stats reveal deep inequality

Them & Us


Climate change

Stop climate change - fight for socialist change

What way forward to tackle climate change?


Workplace news

Trade union action can end low pay

Schools unions must turn anger into a fight against funding catastrophe

Unite must be at the head of fighting for a general election and against council cuts

South Western Railway staff strike for safety

Ford Bridgend workers vote to fight to save threatened plant

Bluestar bus drivers' strike over pay

East London bin workers call 12-day strike over wage grades

Swansea Parcelforce workers picket depot in support of victimised rep

Harrogate academy workers strike against closure


International socialist news and analysis

Chinese regime's puppet government in Hong Kong pushed back by mass protests

Sudan: The revolution under threat


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Angry Barking residents' meeting demands answers and action following fire

Orgreave injustice - 35th anniversary march and rally

Oppose big business's sphere of influence!

Young Socialists - re-establishing Rhondda's fighting traditions

North Shields: second march and rally to #SaveOurBridge

Newton Abbot says no to Tory privatisation of the NHS!

Worcester: Building on our successful library campaign


Opinion

Defend free TV licences for over-75s!

The Socialist Inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 19 June 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Barking:

triangleAnother London block of flats destroyed by fire - remove unsafe cladding now!

triangleBarking: campaigning over housing safety

triangleHackney Socialist Party: Barking fire - two years after Grenfell

triangleSell the Socialist and take out an e-subscription

triangleAngry Barking residents protest outside sales office

Fire:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleMarch planned to save Bewdley Fire Station

triangleSouth Yorkshire defeats fire cuts

triangleSouth Yorkshire FBU celebrates halt to cuts

Housing:

triangleLabour's mass social housing pledge

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: How to solve the housing crisis

triangleHousing - bold, socialist measures necessary

Homes:

triangle'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

triangleStanding up for the needs of working-class people

Union:

trianglePCS union - A reply on political strategy

East London:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: The state - a warning to Corbynism

Grenfell Tower:

triangleGrenfell two years on - Still fighting for safety and justice

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/10/19

Postal workers

Massive vote for strike action: - "We're out to win!"

16/10/19

PCS

General secretary election: Marion Lloyd - standing for action on members' pay, jobs, pensions and more

16/10/19

Socialist Party

Be part of the future: join the Socialist Party

16/10/19

Waltham Forest

Mass union mobilisation needed to counter anti-choice group

16/10/19

Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance

Pressure needed to force secret police disclosure

16/10/19

Climate change

Trade unionists discuss climate change

16/10/19

National Education Union

NEU support staff dismiss Tory 'extra funding' hype

16/10/19

Hackney

Hackney SEND transport workers achieve victory

16/10/19

RMT

RMT: Jared Wood - Fighting cuts, defending jobs, pay and conditions

16/10/19

Wales

Wales: Hundreds march to save the Orb works

15/10/19

Derbyshire

Flooring workers strike, Derbyshire

9/10/19

Caerphilly

Attacks on Caerphilly waste management workers

9/10/19

PCS

BEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory

9/10/19

York

York freshers success

9/10/19

Leeds

'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999