The Grenfell Towers fire was one of the most deadly fires in modern British history, killing at least 72 people, with no way to know how many more may have died.
The fire was particularly vicious because the building had been sheathed in an extremly flammable cladding, in part because residents of nearby luxury flats felt the poorly maintained facade was an eyesore.
Now, leaked documents reveal that the original plan had been to clad the building in fireproof materials, but that the Conservative councillors from Kensington and Chelsea (whose financial footing was "robust") rejected that proposal in order to save £200,000 on a total bill of £3.5 million.
There was sustained pressure from the council to cut costs on the project despite the authority being in “robust” financial health, according to accounts for 2014. It had £235m in usable reserves and had underspent its budget for services by £23m.
The council had originally only wanted to spend £6m on Grenfell, but later set the budget at £9.7m when it realised it also needed to replace the heating system. In July 2013, however, the council’s housing committee reported that Leadbitter, which was interested in the nonflammable cladding, was on course to spend £11.3m and so it put the contract out to tender and launched a cost-cutting programme which it called “value engineering”.
The following summer, with Rydon on board, the council’s tenants management organisation emailed the project team: “We need good costs for Cllr Feilding-Mellen [deputy leader in charge of housing].” At that point £300,000 was removed from the cladding budget and zinc panels were replaced with the aluminium composite material with the plastic core.
Grenfell Tower: fire-resistant cladding plan was dropped
[Robert Booth/The Guardian]
(via Naked Capitalism)
The United Kingdom’s security minister, Ben Wallace, really gets Lord Varys from Game of Thrones, you know? The Spider had it going on, man. He was hip and, also, with it. That imaginary man who had his love pump lopped off knew from HUMINT, apparently. From The Telegraph: Ben Wallace says there is “increasing scope” […]
It's been two years since the Grenfell tower block in north Kensington burned, killing at least 72 people: the blaze revealed deep corruption and indifference among Britain's richest people and the millionaire Conservative politicians who do their business in Parliament, from the fact that the highly flammable cladding responsible for the blaze was added so […]
The UK Ministry of Defense has confirmed the authenticity of a leaked copy of its 2017 leaflet, "Extreme Right Wing (XRW) Indicators & Warnings," provided to senior defense staff to help them identify and root out far-right extremists in the ranks.
Who needs a holiday sale? Sometimes there’s no better time than the thick of summer to find deals. We should know – we’ve found ten deep discounts on some must-have items. Whether you’re searching for CBD edibles, exercise gear, chargers or other tech, take a look. But don’t look long – these prices aren’t likely […]
Heading abroad? Even if it’s just a short trip, there’s a lot to prepare for. Travel can be incredibly rewarding, but it can tricky to navigate different cultures and lodging arrangements – and even trickier to do it cheaply. Before you go shopping for suitcases, here’s our pick for a good first investment: The Ultimate […]
Fried foods are a weakness for many of us. There’s nothing quite like that extra crisp crackle on chicken, fries or onion rings. And for years, our arteries have been paying for the privilege. Lately, the air fryer has been a godsend for those who love the fried stuff but love their body too. If […]