Tower Block Disaster

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Vorpal
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Re: Tower Block Disaster

Postby Vorpal » 29 Dec 2017, 10:35am

Bonefishblues wrote:I didn't respond, but it read rather like that to me too, I must admit.

Apropos of similar, I saw Jaywick on the news last night - often held up as a deeply deprived and dreadful place to live, at least in programmes I have seen. I had a browse around Rightmove at the properties on sale there. I have since had a word with myself for accepting the media's portrayal without critical thought.

Jaywick's alright, though the pubs can be a bit rough. Maybe that where the reputation comes from ;)

When I played women's football, we played in Jaywick a couple of times each year. We joked about going there, and they played a bit rough, but after the match, they were the friendliest team we played against; decent hospitality, and sociable. More than I can say for many others.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
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pwa
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Re: Tower Block Disaster

Postby pwa » 29 Dec 2017, 10:37am

Vorpal wrote:
pwa wrote:Not that it really matters, but I think I had assumed that Grenfell Tower had been a block of not very nice flats, grey and unattractive to live in. But a few days ago I saw photos of the interiors of a few of the flats prior to the fire, alongside images of their residents, and some of them had been kitted out to be very modern and comfortable. For me it produced a pang of pathos, thinking how these people, some who survived and some who didn't, were making their homes places that reflected their aspirations. Places that displayed their achievements and hope.


Did you think that just because someone was poor they had no desire or right to live in a nice place? That council tower blocks are rquired to be nasty places, so no one aspires to live there?

I would think that what you wrote would sound very privileged to someone who lived there. Or in any council blocks. It certainly sounds so to me.


My rational head made no assumptions, but somewhere deep down, subconsciously, I must have assumed it was a block of deprived people on the first rung of their personal ladder, living in poor conditions. Perhaps based on the many examples of social housing I have visited in my own area. Grey, mouldy smell, worn carpets. I see that a lot. I was surprised to see pictures of very nice accommodation. It makes no real difference, but it set my mind off, thinking of people trying, as we all do, to make their nests better. It evoked an extra wave of empathy. It makes me think of the dreams and aspirations they had. At a rational level I knew they must have had hope of a future, but little things bring it home.

Bonefishblues
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Re: Tower Block Disaster

Postby Bonefishblues » 29 Dec 2017, 10:44am

I don't think the media's portrayal of the block in the context of the Borough has helped people's understanding.

pwa
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Re: Tower Block Disaster

Postby pwa » 29 Dec 2017, 10:56am

Bonefishblues wrote:I don't think the media's portrayal of the block in the context of the Borough has helped people's understanding.


Like it or not, when you form a mental picture of how people live you do it on the basis of incomplete information, and your mind fills in the blanks. In my case I must have imagined that the flats were like some that I visit regularly, with conditions that are adequate but not pleasant. Adequate apart from fire protection, that is. Going off the images I saw recently, they were pleasant inside, much better than the most of the social housing I visit locally. So I revised my mental picture.

I do think Vorpal's questioning whether I think poor people have a right to a nice place to live is uncalled for. My piece was, if anything, partly a confession about my initial false assumption. And if I have any bias it is in the opposite direction. My feeling is that the wealthier people become, the less likely they are to treat others nicely. I think everyone should have warm, dry and comfortable accommodation, but around here not everyone gets it. Hence my mistaken assumption that the people in Grenfell Tower had unattractive living conditions. I was transposing facts I see around here onto a blank in my knowledge about Grenfell Tower.

Vorpal
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Re: Tower Block Disaster

Postby Vorpal » 29 Dec 2017, 10:14pm

pwa wrote:I do think Vorpal's questioning whether I think poor people have a right to a nice place to live is uncalled for.

It was a reaction to your assumption that the apartments must be grey and tatty. Apologies if you were offended.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

francovendee
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Re: Tower Block Disaster

Postby francovendee » 30 Dec 2017, 9:05am

Just heard on the BBC that Chelsea and Kensington council has apologized to the tenants still without a home for failing to give them the money promised to help with Christmas!
With the eyes of the country still on what happens post- disaster it just proves that the council is just not fit for purpose and still cannot focus on these people.
Perhaps it was an oversight on someones part but it fits with all I know and hear about the council.

Vorpal
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Re: Tower Block Disaster

Postby Vorpal » 30 Dec 2017, 9:18am

francovendee wrote:
Perhaps it was an oversight on someones part but it fits with all I know and hear about the council.

Consistently failing is not an oversight.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

pwa
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Re: Tower Block Disaster

Postby pwa » 30 Dec 2017, 10:57am

Vorpal wrote:
pwa wrote:I do think Vorpal's questioning whether I think poor people have a right to a nice place to live is uncalled for.

It was a reaction to your assumption that the apartments must be grey and tatty. Apologies if you were offended.


Apology not needed, and if I gave the wrong impression by my post, and offended anyone by doing so, sorry. Really.

But I did make that assumption, for some reason. Maybe not tatty, but grey, yes. Perhaps it was influenced by my experience of social housing locally, the less desirable sort allocated to those in dire immediate need and not in a position to choose. And by the bits of information I got from media reporting, including the fact (?) that a lot of the residents were first generation immigrants from poorer countries. Historically such people (Irish, Pakistani, etc) have moved in to housing of low standard, vacated by the more established sections of society as soon as they had the money to do so. Maybe I put thoughts like that together to fill in the blanks in my knowledge about what the flats were actually like inside, to draw up a picture of people struggling to make poor accommodation a bit less grim for their families. Reality has proved me wrong, which was part of the purpose of my comment.

The other part of what I was saying is how my surprise at the pictures of nice flat interiors, attractively kitted out, triggered a line of thought about people doing ordinary things like going shopping for furniture, putting together a nice environment to live in. And the aspiration, the hope for the future that such nest building indicates. My rational head knew that these people must have had futures mapped out, but seeing their nice things triggered an emotional response to lives terminated so abruptly.

reohn2
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Re: Tower Block Disaster

Postby reohn2 » 30 Dec 2017, 5:26pm

Vorpal wrote:
francovendee wrote:
Perhaps it was an oversight on someones part but it fits with all I know and hear about the council.

Consistently failing is not an oversight.

They are consistent only in there inconsistency.
Why am I not surprised?
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mercalia
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Re: Tower Block Disaster

Postby mercalia » 14 May 2018, 11:26am

on a another matter in Westminster, where grenfell towers is - it seems there has been a very poor uptake of the super rich to pay an extra £800 or so council tax to fund serivces for the poor who live there --

"Just 350 of the 15,600 wealthiest households in Westminster, one of the country’s richest boroughs, have answered the local authority’s call to voluntarily pay extra council tax to help tackle the homelessness crisis in the heart of London. "

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/may/13/westminster-wealthiest-households-failing-pay-extra-tax-community-contribution?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=274727&subid=7646217&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

it seems the super rich want to hold onto their cash down to the last few hundred £s, where service charges for the many ultra expensive flats can be as much as £20,000 a year.

Seems like the council cant raise the council tax for band H properties or they would have done so. It seems a compulsory mansion tax is needed?

"Residents in Westminster pay the lowest council tax in the country, with band H payments of £832 a year plus another £588 to the Greater London Authority. In Poole, Dorset, the band H charge is £3,358."

No wonder that Grenfell Towers happened

reohn2
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Re: Tower Block Disaster

Postby reohn2 » 14 May 2018, 12:29pm

What do expect in a country with such bias toward the rich?
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Flinders
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Re: Tower Block Disaster

Postby Flinders » 14 May 2018, 8:48pm

Check out what the rich pay in council tax in that borough, and compare it with yours. A band D house round here, probably worth about 200-250 grand (unfashionable part of the Midlands, not at all wealthy) pays circa £1,640, which is about the same as the largest property in the Kensington and Chelsea pays- properties that would be worth many millions, and which pay circa £1,700. The equivalent top band round here, in contrast, is over £3,000 a year. Something seriously wrong there.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Tower Block Disaster

Postby [XAP]Bob » 15 May 2018, 9:55am

reohn2 wrote:What do expect in a country with such bias toward the rich?


You think that's a country specific problem?
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

reohn2
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Re: Tower Block Disaster

Postby reohn2 » 15 May 2018, 10:45am

[XAP]Bob wrote:
reohn2 wrote:What do expect in a country with such bias toward the rich?


You think that's a country specific problem?

Nope,
I think it's got worse in the UK in recent times though and I'm including the Thatcher and Blair years,but this government has made matters worse still IMO.
Last edited by reohn2 on 15 May 2018, 3:21pm, edited 1 time in total.
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softlips
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Re: Tower Block Disaster

Postby softlips » 15 May 2018, 2:41pm

Flinders wrote:Check out what the rich pay in council tax in that borough, and compare it with yours. A band D house round here, probably worth about 200-250 grand (unfashionable part of the Midlands, not at all wealthy) pays circa £1,640, which is about the same as the largest property in the Kensington and Chelsea pays- properties that would be worth many millions, and which pay circa £1,700. The equivalent top band round here, in contrast, is over £3,000 a year. Something seriously wrong there.


If you look at council tax prices it seems Labour led councils charge more than Conservative led ones. Interestingly though Labour led ones have more cash reserves than Conservative ones.