It seems new Kensington MP, Emma Dent Coad, is one of the pack of Labour politicians going after Sir Martin Moore-Bick who has been asked to lead the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster.
I find it strange that Dent Coad’s past involvement with the company that runs Kensington and Chelsea’s council housing stock does not get mentioned in her numerous media interviews. The Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) is responsible for the management of the borough’s housing stock – including Grenfell Tower. KCTMO is constituted as a limited company registered as the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation at Companies House (company number 03048135). Dent Coad was a full director of the company from 2008-2012 with all the legal responsibilities that implies.
The powers and responsibilites of the KCTMO directors are laid out in its Articles of Association. The relevant sections are reproduced below:
Their responsibilities are to see that the company is run properly and extend to being able to hire and fire senior staff.
You would think that if KCTMO was so broken when Dent Coad stopped being a director in 2012 she might have blown the whistle on it in a systematic and peristent way. I have searched for evidence of Dent Coad having written or being quoted in relation to fire safety in North Kensington and it is hard to find very much.
For instance, on her own blog Dent Coad has written 125 pieces over eight years 2000-2007. Only once did she obliquely mention fire safety in relation to people breaking into to fire escapes in properties run by a housing association called Catalyst.
I will be very interested to learn of Emma Dent Coad’s record of raising fire safety issues before the Grenfell tragedy. She has rightly been vocal since but she has been presented as if she has no history. Although Dent Coad is a new MP she has been a councillor in North Kensington for 11 years so she should be able to point to a record of raising fire safety issues before now.