Friday, 20 June 2014
Reflections June 20, 2014
Recent experiences with the TMO, the TMO repairs Department and local council.
Background: I am a tenant in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. I have lived in the area for nearly 30 years. My life has its ups and downs, sometimes good, sometimes very desperate. I am disabled, I have type I diabetes and a lot of other associated ailments. I was homeless for a number of years. I was very fortunate to be helped back to health, and helped tremendously by staff within the Royal Borough Council offices. When things are okay, we never really hear much about what goes on in the Council, or the TMO. When we have recurring issues, life can get complicated, and the level of support and help can diminish, the more complicated, the more recurring issues are. I do not blame those who work on the front line, those on the front line of services work in a way determined by councillors and their managers. Managers within the TMO Department are responsible. And yet there is no accountability, and there seems to be a lack of understanding about responsibilities and accountability.
My observations today are simply the thoughts occurring over the last few hours. They are thoughts and not facts, although there are many factual and substantive reasons for my conclusions. Of course I could be wrong. And I hope I am.
Walk-in shower room: walk-in shower room has been a reported repair since 2009/10. The vinyl floor never laid correctly, second vinyl floor installed, and now a third vinyl floor to be installed. Wet room continues to leak into flat number six below. The tanking of the floor and walls cannot have been done properly, or there would be no leaks. Installation of disabled chair will have compromised the tanking at the back of the shower. The first wet room pump to drain water never worked correctly, and the second pump installation took several months to complete.
Recent kitchen window repair: engineer came to repair window from the window company, he could not repair it without the right parts. The engineer damaged the draining board, and the window company has not been in touch since.
Gas boiler bar pressure reduces every 3 to 4 weeks. The repair engineer and supervisor have suggested a liquid treatment to the radiators, to plug a pinhole leak somewhere in the system. The supervisor called to say they had none of the particular liquid to treat radiators in stock and will get back to the job when they can. The radiator liquid treatment appears available from any good stockist, either online or on the high Street. I'm not sure what is holding this repair up presently, at the same time the bar pressure is going down significantly.
Recent mouse proofing activities by various workmen has been rendered useless by the rewiring of the flat, not sure what to do about that? Await more rodents? And then report it?
Some of these repairs have been on-going for some years. And some of the work scheduled by the TMO has been undone by further scheduled works.
The rewiring of the flat has been carried out under the terms and conditions required by the landlord. The rewiring is almost complete and I anticipate there are some next steps in this process.
I am at a loss to understand how the TMO repairs Department, and the TMO resolve project management issues which have obviously caused enormous extra expenses not only to my household in terms of time and energy, in terms of time and money, which is paid by the KC Council.
The managerial competencies highlighted , which may be issues currently being experienced in a dysfunctional organisation:
Systems and procedures breaking down
Budgetary controls and expense management
Deployment of resources, human and material
Not listening to the service user, your "raison d'être"
Inability to communicate
Inability to listen or read communications
Inability to monitor and supervise contractors
Misuse of funds. Initiating unnecessary works
Not following through on legal requirements
Ignoring health and safety issues
Ignorance and contempt for service users
Misuse of information systems and technology
Utilising hierarchical bureaucracy to plead ignorance
Mismanaging middle management resources, causing conflict between command and control versus empowerment
Disempowering workers and supervisors, and continuous blame culture
Contracting and subcontracting with no proper controls and certainly not communications, which can lead to yet more health and safety issues
Disempowered workforce frozen and unable to function under conflicting directives
Thursday, 19 June 2014
As you can see it is some weeks since I last wrote to you and other members of the RBKC, and the TMO Department. Having had difficult conversations with the electrical installers and egregious incidents with RM Stewart staff, I really don't know what to do next. As the landlord, you sent me a letter about the dangerous nature of the electrical wiring in my flat. And I was happy to have the whole flat rewired by people contracted by the TMO. In addition, water has been leaking from my flat into the flat below, flat number six, Curran house. I have made it plain that I am happy to have people come and do the work, providing they are up to the job.
I'm still happy to have a discussion here at my home, about matters arising over the last few months. If this is an option you prefer, as leader of the council, I'm very happy for you to come and be a part of any discussion. Although you weren't invited before, a meeting between you, Tim, Robert and Lorna would be very welcome, and anyone else you feel might be helpful. Not too many though, because it is only a small flat. Alternatively, if you feel that the council cannot rewire my flat for some reason, I would be happy to get three quotes and present them to you, so that I do not become a victim of a health and safety issue which has not being addressed.
Dear Mr Oddy
Thank you for your email. Issues your raise are being investigated by our Project Management Team, you will receive a reply within 10 working days.
Ms Dulce De Oliveira Watts
292a Kensal Road, London W10 5BE
P Before printing, please think about the environment
To the complaints manager:
Illegal parking by contractors – Stewart electrical
Stewart the electrical contractor had an operative working at Curran house this morning, March 4 around 11 AM. As you know I live at number 12 Curran house, and I am a disabled person, easily understood and identified with a walking stick. I was a bit concerned that a van was parked outside flat 1 Curran house, blocking in that person who is disabled, and blocking entry to the shed area where I keep my electric bike, without which I find it extremely difficult to get anywhere.
Approaching the vehicle, I became aware that it was occupied and I waved towards the occupant, and he for whatever reason, chose to ignore a sign of hello. I think he felt I was being rude. Anyway, I asked him quite straightforwardly to move the van, so I could get into the shed area. He started to say something about having a right to be there because he was working in the flats.
Just a reminder that your departments have been saying they advised Stuart electrical not to Park on the forecourt of Curran house. So number 1 Stuart electrical are ignoring you and your instructions.
After a few moments, I mentioned the sign above the Stewart vehicle on the wall which said no parking. The man in the Stewart vehicle said he could neither read nor write. And he didn't like my attitude. And that he had permission from the caretaker to park outside flat 1, which blocked in the disabled gentleman who lives there, and blocks access to the shed area where I was headed.
If you need to know who the man was, I can send you his photograph.
As a contractor working on behalf of the TMO, I wish to complain and say emphatically that the attitude and behaviour of Stewart Personnel is completely consistent and no change has been made, and with this in mind, and this particular incident on top, how can you trust this contractor to do the job properly?
I don't know if you are aware, but it came to my attention, that computers and other facilities inside some the flats which have been rewired, had been left faulty and return visits have been necessary. This is unacceptable.
I'm looking forward to Lorna coming to see me with the contracts managers or whoever she's decided to bring in the near future.
Illegally parked vehicles blocking disabled people is going to make them angry and loud in their voices. And especially when the driver dismisses a person and says that he cannot hear them.