A former resident of Grenfell Tower felt that he was “stigmatised as a troublemaker” by the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation and that contractors gave the impression residents “shouldn’t complain” about works being done to the building.
Edward Daffarn, who gave a 127-page witness statement to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and appeared in a hearing yesterday (21 April), raised numerous complaints about fire safety in the building before the June 2017 disaster that killed 72 people.
He warned on the Grenfell Action blog in November 2016 that “only a serious fire in a tower block would be the reason that those who wield power at the KCTMO would be found out”.
He also claimed that a worker from Rydon, the main contractor that carried out the refurbishment works in the tower, told him that they wouldn’t mind the work being undertaken in their own home if it meant they were “getting it for free”.
Daffarn said in his statement: “This attitude, that we were getting the refurbishment ‘for nothing’ so shouldn’t complain, permeated the whole refurbishment process".
He added: “In my own professional life as a registered mental health social worker I could not, and would never wish to, discriminate against clients of mine who objected to the state’s intervention into their lives.
"It goes without saying that I have always been professionally obliged to treat all my clients with equal respect and dignity regardless of their opinion of the interventions I was employed to undertake. That is not the way the TMO and RBKC treated us.”
Daffarn denied when questioned during the hearing that he had been “disruptive” during meetings between the TMO and residents but he admitted the meetings “may have been unpleasant for the TMO because they were being challenged about what they were doing”.
The Inquiry continues.