All Around the UK subcategories:
UK Towns and cities keywords:
Angry Barking fire victims demand action from landlords and authorities
Pete Mason, chair, Barking Reach Residents' Association, and East London Socialist Party
A fire risk assessment report in January this year of Samuel Garside House in Barking, east London, identified inflammable wooden balconies.
The report recommended that corrective work be carried out within a month but the landlords and managing agents failed to act.
Five months later on 9 June - coinciding with the two-year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower inferno - the worst happened when a block of flats went up in flames. Fortunately no one died but 79 households were displaced
Around 30 flats were destroyed, either partially or completely, in a fire that spread from flat to flat in about seven minutes.
Only now are the balconies at other flats on the estate being stripped away by the original builders, Bellway.
Our association is still not being sufficiently informed of what is going on, and at a meeting, mostly of the displaced residents, we voted unanimously to hold protests if we are not satisfied with the response to our demands by the end of this week.
The most important demand is that residents are given proper accommodation while the renovation works are carried out to restore the flats.
Each day displaced residents are being left until the very last moment to find out where they are staying.
This is temporary hotel accommodation without facilities for babies, washing clothes and so forth. One resident reported being on the phone for 90 minutes with those put in charge of this to fix up a night's accommodation.
The second demand is the removal of the flammable cladding from the rest of the estate.
On 13 June, 200 residents crammed into a meeting called by the Residents' Association, which was attended by representatives from the government, council, landlords, managing agents and builders.
Residents voted unanimously that they believe that all those representatives were negligent. Compensation for the distress has still not been offered.
We agreed that Adriatic, the landlord, has forfeited the right to own the block due to this alleged negligence.
The residents want to be involved in the restoration process, such as the rebuilding of the balconies - one of the displaced resident's is a qualified architect.
They identified the need for fire doors in the ground floor car park, which was confirmed by a fire expert who attended a further residents' association meeting.
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
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