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SALFORD TOWERBLOCK CLADDING RESIDENTS UNITE TO TACKLE PENDLETON TOGETHER
 

Star date: 18th July 2018

SPRUCE COURT AND THORN COURT TENANTS GET ORGANISED TO FIGHT BACK

"We're sick to death of being treated like dirt..."

Last night, tenants from Spruce Court and Thorn Court met to share concerns over dangerous cladding, fire safety, security and other issues, as they united to take on towerblock manager Pendleton Together and Salford City Council, which owns the blocks.

"They try to ignore what we're saying" insisted one tenant "They're complacent... we're sick to death of being treated like dirt...".

Full details here...


While it was billed as a meeting of Spruce Court residents, tenants from Thorn Court and housing rights campaigners from Greater Manchester Housing Action and Acorn also joined in to start an action group to take on Pendleton Together, which manages nine blocks in the area on behalf of Salford City Council

Thorn Court and Spruce Court are the tallest towerblocks in Pendleton, and, bar the three bottom floors, are still swathed in dangerous cladding similar to Grenfell Tower.

As residents told of two inch gaps under fire doors ("Keepmoat told us it was for the air to circulate"), power surges which blow light bulbs and cookers, and fire alarms that cannot be heard, it was generally agreed that Pendleton Together was failing in its duty of care.*

There were some horrendous stories of recent issues when fire alarms have gone off in the blocks (set off by Pendleton Together's own workers)...vehicle gates for fire crews being stuck for up to an hour, exit doors not working when the electrics went off and people with children and in wheelchairs struggling to evacuate.

Tenants expressed horror that so many families with children, and people with physical and mental health disabilities were being housed on the top floors. One woman, who lives on the 22nd floor, said she felt "fearful" and "disenfranchised", a sentiment echoed by other residents...

"They try to ignore what we are saying" said one tenant "They are complacent; it's like going back to the 1960s when they treated us as the lowest of the low...We're sick to death of being treated like dirt."

Indeed Pendleton Together tried to stop the tenants meeting in their own community room at Spruce Court, apparently arguing, ironically, that a 'fire risk assessment' was needed. In the event, however, tenants did get into the room which was packed out with standing room only.

At successive meetings of Salford Council, local councillors have praised the Pendleton residents for their 'patience' and 'understanding' but at this meeting there was a different story... "We've talked with councillors and they've just ignored us" said one tenant. Others thought they were being 'manoeuvred' into a position where they would eventually be cleared out in a gentrification process.

While it was argued that residents themselves need to organise a 'social fire drill' in case the worst happens, in the meantime housing experts are looking into potential legal action...and demanding answers to the two main questions...

Why has the cladding not been removed yet?

Why are young families and people with disabilities being housed on the top floors?


* For full details see previous Salford Star article A Year After Salford Cladding Scandal Independent Tenants Meeting To Be Held click here

old sparky wrote
at 23:08:41 on 18 July 2018
The complaints about the 2 inch fire door gaps are fully justified. I just can't believe it. What worries me though is the report of power surges.These are cases of over voltages which will cause appliances to operate at higher current which in turn causes heat which causes fires. It looks like this is what happened at Grenfel.In the years leading to that incident,surges happened many times, and on many occaisions ,people on that block were paid compensation for it, but the cause was never identified .What is needed here, is a complete testing out by a proper firm of consulting electrical engineers like Arup or NG bailey. They are the ones with highly specialised test equipment for the job. Someone who will put their balls on the line to do it, and sign it off as being right. A normal spark like me could probably find the fault (more than likely a loose neutral somewhere), but this is not the point, the whole block needs checking out by someone with the right gear. It would help if the people who have had surges could all make themselves known to the engineers checking it out. It will give them a point to start at. I do not suppose people will heed my warning ,but at least I have tried.

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