Star date: 21st September 2018


Salford City Council has been told by the Government that it can't access the 400million public fund to help with the cost of replacing dangerous cladding on the nine Pendleton blocks because it's part of a PFI.

Nor will the Government allow the Council to loan Pendleton Together Operating Limited money from its 25million fund set aside for the cladding. In short, it's a complete mess.

Full details here...

What Salford City Council has known for weeks was finally made public this afternoon...that the Government will not allow the Council to loan the PFI (Private Finance Initiative) company, Pendleton Together Operating Limited (PTOL), the 25million it borrowed to help with cladding removal and replacement on the Council-owned nine Pendleton blocks.

Nor will the Government allow the Council to access its 400million 'cladding remediation fund' because the blocks are part of a PFI scheme, which is seen as a private operation rather than a public company. The Government has already stated that it will not support private companies to replace cladding.

A letter to residents this afternoon, signed by Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, and Deputy Mayor, John Merry, declares 'anger' at the Government decision... "the interests of residents appear to count for little with the government and I will be writing to ask them to consider the needs of Salford residents as a matter of urgency" it states.

"We have, however, been working with PTOL who have been taking active steps to raise money privately as quickly as possible" it adds "In the meantime works to Plane Court continue..."

This week, the Salford Star has published two articles about the state of the Pendleton blocks and residents' concerns, which go way beyond the cladding replacement...

Part 1 Cladding and Window Safety Scares At Salford Blocks Why Are Tenants Not Being Listened To? click here

Part 2 Knives, NIBEs, Cladding, Dodgy Windows and Holes In The Walls click here

* John Merry has still not responded to a Salford Star request to be interviewed on the issue

Felse M J wrote
at 12:41:16 on 26 September 2018
Horrified Council has not yet fixed the clad problem. As I sit here in the South of France suffering 30degrees heat I fear the cold winter back home in Salford flats will bring horrendous bills. I am vowed to not stand for Salford Councillor election until I get the reply from Mr Corbyn about expulsion, now 7 years, demanding investigation to uncover if the expulsion was their beginning tide of Labour antisemetic prejudice against our Jewish community. I urge Salford people to not vote Labour in this weeks election.

Bob the regular wrote
at 20:26:13 on 25 September 2018
A properly organised gang of scaffolders,(and we have plenty in Salford) would scaffold each tower in a week. If they were shown the best ways to remove the cladding, these would probably be the best guys to rip the stuff off, I presume starting at the top working their way down. But I do seem to remember them using cradles and starting at the top to put it on. Using these guys it would be cheaper than using the teams who put it up. Total time about 2 full weeks per block at a guess grafting at it. The trouble is with the insulation off, who is going to pay the heating bill? Its getting cold now. If our council are so sure of winning their case, I am sure they could use all this spare cash they have to pay the residents heating bills while they sue the guilty parties. when judgement day comes and victory is assured. Then all the costs paid out will have to be paid by the guilty parties. Even if they do a Carrillion, they are covered by insurance aren't they? As we know ,our council only uses proper firms, and they are all covered. The question I ask though, is our council somehow implicated, and is their generous offer to pay out now, to make things good ,part of a cover up? Before anyone says it cannot be done in two weeks, get Merry and Doughnut to put some cash on the table. I'll sort it , but I am a bit to old for rawling about high up scaffold. Thats for our young lads.

Rayofsunshine wrote
at 14:33:04 on 25 September 2018
So,Bob the regular,if we adobted your approach, how long would t tk to mk th tower bloks safe?

Bob the regular wrote
at 05:14:41 on 25 September 2018
Ray ,why should taxpayers and rate payers pay for new cladding, when the people who put the wrong cladding on and made a balls of it, also made a huge profit from it. Look at the wages these people get. in keepmoats case its in the millions for each director. Let it look a mess for a while and pay the heating bills of the residents so they do not loose out.Let the lawyers have their day in court. Justice must be seen to be done, and we need to see it done. I bet you think I am glad at the stick the council are going to get for this, I thought I would be myself, but I am not. I am just sick at all the money wasted, and by the deceit by the council and others. I am also sad by the way these residents have been treated,ordinary Salford people who have trusted the people they elected. People like my parents and Grandparents were. Not me though ,I trust none of them. Power to the people.

Philip Giuseppe Rossi, The Broadwalk ... wrote
at 16:45:17 on 24 September 2018
Bob the Regular, I'm starting to come around to your way of thinling. You're bolshy. You rock the boat. That's good. You're doling out all of the advice, and that's also good - but why don't you get involved.it doesn't matter that you don't live there. Just go down and meet a few people. I'm sure that they would welcome your contributions. You could be like a latter day flying picket. A rabble rousing catalyst for change. A mouth with a megaphone. A cross between Derek Hatton back in his glory days and Wolfie Smith. Get down to The Broadwalk Bob, and start raising hell. And if you think I'm taking the piss, I'm not. You've got energy, and passion, and ideas. They're needed.

Rayofsunshine wrote
at 16:45:10 on 24 September 2018
So basically,Bob the regular,you are more interested in knocking the council than fixing cladding!

Mary ferrer wrote
at 16:45:03 on 24 September 2018
Cheaper to remove from the bottom floors.They only needed to take 1 or 2 sheets off to check. And as for a fire from car or rubbish, is just that a load of rubbish.fires from household appliances /chip pan/ person are more likely. Easier for the fire services to evacuate from lower floors.This has been a total cockup from day one. Which needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. This is people's lives we are talking about.

Bob the regular wrote
at 08:12:47 on 24 September 2018
Yes Ray, my concern also is to see the tennants safe so get the shit ripped off straight away,but why pay for new stuff and try and claim the cash back. The council have no claim against the cladding contractors only the PFI mob. The pfi mob can claim against contractors. The ones responsible will end up going into liquidation same as Carrillion,another wonder firm. Salford council were not the only mugs,but they were the biggest mugs.The tennants have to refuse to pay rent. It will make matters worse, for the council that is. How do you expect the tennants to pay the extra heating bills without that insulation, especially with the shit heating systems these buildings have? The council will threaten people with eviction, do you think so? They have to put their case before a judge. What will a judge say about what has gone on? They would get laughed out of court. Come on down Shelter, why don't you send a legal team down to help these people? Is it because you think we're going to have a general election and jeza might win, and if he does things will be all rosey? Don't want to rock the boat? What about Becky? Can she say a few words about all this? I am sure the editor will give her as much space as she needs in this journal to say whatever she likes. The trouble is ,they do not give explanations , for there are none to give. They are all in the shit with this, there is no escape for them. Re Mary. There are a couple of reasons cladding was taken off at bottom first. One they needed to check what had been used, and access was easier off a cherry picker and cheaper. Also it was thought that the chances of fire at lower levels starting were higher, (burning cars , rubbish in skips etc)

Mary ferrer wrote
at 19:36:40 on 23 September 2018
I have one question which has bothered me from the start. Why did they started taking the cladding from the bottom first. Surely taking it from the top would make more sense. It would be easier for the people on the lower floors to escape,than the top. Most of the deaths took place on the top floors.

Rayofsunshine wrote
at 19:36:15 on 23 September 2018
Bob the regular,my prime concern is keeping tenants safe. My worry is that without someone breaking the log jam,this cock up will drag n and on ! As I pointed out in my last post,Salford should take legal action against the Government and Cladding Contractors to recover the loan to Pendleton Together. I cannot agree that rent strikes are the way forward as they would just make a bad situation worse!

Bob the regular wrote
at 19:36:05 on 23 September 2018
With our anger, and rage, we have all lost the plot with this one, and I more than anyone. Apart from Bernard that is. What a sensible lad. WHAT ABOUT SALIX? he says. A few of my pals who work there have been asking the odd question here and there , sometimes to names that you would think would be in the know, senior management, high command ect. The answers coming back have been like "nobody tells us" "they are looking at all the options" "waiting for them to come up with proposals" "waiting to hear what the government comes up with". All the usual crap. It went in one of my ears and out the other. As far as I can see, all this cladding on Salix blocks was also done on a PFI, before the stock transfer. If this is the case, then that government ruling also applies to them. Salix and Salford council will now be in a good style ding dong about this. A fantastic earner for the lawyers. Normally in cases like this, there can be grounds where a compramise can be reached but I cannot see one here. Its all or nothing. Neither side can afford to loose this one. Only one will be left standing after this battle. One down one to go. This in a way explains why that shit cladding is still there, and not been ripped of. It is evidence. This does not help the residents. A total rent strike is whats needed. Protest banners should be hung from the windows,that will look great for the national media. Why do Salix and PT think they should get rent for shit housing? By the way I think I was wrong about Pt. they apparently do not own the houses,the council still does, they are just management org.

Bernard Ryan wrote
at 10:49:20 on 23 September 2018
Salix is no PFI Consortium. They have 13 Blocks Affected by Tinder Cladding out of 18 they run. What Word of this? 3 of these Blocks are on the Broadwalk, right in the middle of the "PTOL" 9. All sailx has managed to do is to take 6 week to Scaffold Canon Hussey CT & maintain total radio silence on the other 12 Block over the past 15 month. PFI or Local Authority Blocks, it don't matter, all Tenants are getting shafted & paying over the Odds for Illegal failure by Central & Local Government. As Bob says, if you can, withhold you Rent in numbers & hit these Scumbags where they will fold.

Bob the regular wrote
at 10:48:48 on 23 September 2018
Ray,why should the council pay to get the damage fixed? They do not own these flats now.They did not do the bad work. Why should rich companies be able to take lots of profit with no risk. Look at the wages the bosses at together group get, and keepmoat bosses get. The danger has to be removed, and people sued for the shit they have caused. The people who live on these blocks should not pay their rent till the place is fixed up properly.and when they do pay, it should be less the damages and extra heating costs. The people should sue pt housing, for stress etc and loss of amenities etc. If our council, in the form of building control, get rid of that cladding on the advice of say the fire brigade, they are cast iron covered for all the cash spent. They might not get it back if they put a new cladding system in. That way the people who loose cash are Pt not the council. Where are all these XXXXXXX do gooder, human rights , housing lawyers when you need them? These bastards get away with it because people are too afraid to have a go. If I lived there, I would be giving them shit. There is more stuff to come out about this case, I can feel it. Thing is though,no matter what, we will all still vote Labour.Keep the red flag flying high. I would like to stick it up Dennetts arse.

Bob the regular wrote
at 19:15:19 on 22 September 2018
I have cooled off a bit since yesterday, not much though.Arnold, Pete ,and wrote all make fair comments, but even I think that Merry and Dennett pulling these flats down is going a bit far. I know they might like to do whats suggested, but I don't think they have the cheek. Someone is legally to blame for this but who? If the council are not to blame, why do they offer 25million , when 1 million would be more than enough to get rid of the danger? This 1 million would be recoverable by building control against the owners of the property, presumably PT. Pt could then claim against whichever company did the work for this money and for damages. They are all "Bona fida companies" as we are often told. They all have insurance cover.Without this extra insulation, the poor tennants would have extra heating costs over the winter. They would then have a claim against PT. Tennants who were unable to shoulder these costs would surely be able to take the heating costs out of their rent. Someone knew of these dangers on these blocks , before Grenfell, just as someone knew a tyre burst could go through Concordes wing and fuel tank, as a tank (empty though) had been ruptured in such a way before. Someone knew, and I think I know who to suspect, I think the editor does as well, though it would not be right to comment further on this at this stage. A full formal inquiry is needed, by an independant body.

Rayofsunshine wrote
at 19:15:08 on 22 September 2018
Bob the regular, who should the tenants sue,Pendleton Together,the Government or the Council? Are you clear in your own mind about this or are you desperate to be seen to have an opinion in the Salford Star? The council,in my opinion,should dip into its reserves to pay for replacement cladding,whilst at the same time pursuing legal action against the Government and the Cladding Contractors. This course of action would both reassure tenants and cut the ground under right wing malcontents!

Arnold Rimmer wrote
at 10:43:35 on 22 September 2018
The private companies must not be fulfilling their contract by allowing unsafe flats. It's good the government is not allowing a private company to grab that 400 mil. The council should take back the flats and then the money will be available to them.

at 10:43:22 on 22 September 2018
Brilliant things these PFI's! We know which way this is going---------Much hand wringing by Merry and Doughnut and then the flats will have to be demolished. After that, Private housing will be built, with no social housing and no section 106 money collected.

Dave wrote
at 21:14:48 on 21 September 2018
tell you what, lets get the two master builders Merry and Dennett to sort it out. They could use the new wonderful company they have set up to do the job . its called Derive. Because this work is in the public interest to be carried out,as it involves public safety, they could get building control to order it to be done. building control could then pay them, and put a charge on the building that takes priority over other charges. Either that, or to rule if its safe or not.if its safe thats ok.if its not, then the residents have to move out and someone has to pay for new flats for them.there are lots available to rent. If I owned these flats they would be on me like a ton of bricks. the law is the law for everyone.

pete wrote
at 21:14:32 on 21 September 2018
If I did a bad job, would the council lend me 25million to put it right? Would they bollocks. The bad insulation can be ripped off for a fraction of that, and the dangers gone. It will look an eyesore, but we can all put up with that while we argue whose fault this mess is down to. There will be no improved insulation, but there again, there was none to start with. I think the council are trying to hide something here. Did they know of the dangers before Grenfell and choose to ignore them, thinking they were only slight? Looks like that to me.

Bob the regular wrote
at 21:14:13 on 21 September 2018
Like I said before Ray now is time for action. The tennants should not pay their rent and use the money to sue these shitbags. They should use the greediest, money grabbing bastard lawyers they can get to do this. This project needs to go into liquidation. It is a matter of urgency. They should get onto building control to get them to get rid of this shit as its dangerous. If building control do not do it ,then go for an urgent judicial revue. Look at the bosses of together group,see how much they earn. The other knobs,Salix are just about to do a deal with the same contractors Keepmoat. This time to build the new flats at Canon green mentioned here. If I did shit jobs for people, word would get about and I wouldn't get work. With the big boys ,they never seem to learn. stand up and fight the bastards. Power to the people.

Gareth L wrote
at 19:00:10 on 21 September 2018
To be fair to the government, why should they pay because private companies cut corners for Salford council, why can't the companies pay for their mess? If the gov pays the private companies won't be giving back their profits or the huge interest they get off the rent the council pays.

Rayofsunshine wrote
at 18:59:47 on 21 September 2018
So, Bob the regular, as I've been telling you for ages, the Tories are putting Saĺford Tenants at risk!

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