Friday, 20 June 2014

The TMO: TMO Repairs Department

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.


Enter video caption here



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


Project mismanagement


Not listening to the service user, your "raison d'ĂȘtre"


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

To Nick Paget Brown Tim Coleridge ; Robert Black ; Lorna Cunningham

Dear Mr Paget Brown,
Further to my recent emails, regarding health and safety issues, there has been some movement towards resolution.
Mr Noble, is coming to see me on June 3 with regard to the rewiring and hopefully there will be some explanation of how the rewiring will proceed taking account of other matters.
Regarding the other matters, the health and safety issue of my flat leaking from the wet room area into my neighbour below, flat number six, Curran house. A plumber came from the TMO on May 24, last Friday afternoon to take a look and find out what the problem could be. Unfortunately, he came too late on the Friday afternoon before the bank holiday to be able to complete the work. In order not to leave the premises in disarray, he suggested that the TMO ought rebook the appointment for a morning. The outcome is that the TMO have rebooked the appointment for June 12, 2014. Just under three weeks from now.
Although this continues to be an issue of health and safety, I guess that the TMO Department responsible are aware that the leak into the ceiling of flat number six, continues and compromises the wiring system below.
I am making sure you as leader of the RBKC are completely aware of the health and safety issues which continue to be a concern.
I would appreciate an acknowledgement from you as leader of the council, that you are aware of the health and safety issues which have been going on for a considerable amount of time and have not been resolved.
Yours sincerely,
Donald Oddy,
Flat 12, Curran house,
Lucan place,
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Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 7:05 AM
Subject: Fw: Health & Safety Issues / ongoing issues/repairs
Dear Mr Paget Brown,
the following written this morning:
I am writing to you because I am at an impasse with those responsible for the maintenance and repairs of my flat. If I cannot get repairs done using the request system, I am hopeful that you as leader of the council may have some influence in getting jobs done. If you cannot get the job done with your influence, I really don't know what to do. I have had one communication from the repairs Department regarding something, repair number 20140772, which is not identifiable on the see my data website. And somebody called Keith asked me to give him a call about the rewiring, I don't know who Keith is and I have not yet returned his call due to hospital appointments.
the following written yesterday:
Further to my email earlier this week, matters arising which need to be passed on to the relevant departments. My reason for asking you to help me is because of the failure of the relevant departments within the TMO to take notice, and the failure to update and identify repairs to my abode. On numerous occasions, repairs have been raised by me, and looking at the computer generated issues, on see my data on the TMO website, it is very difficult to see what is outstanding in terms of repairs which do not contain enough information for either me as a tenant, or the TMO repairs Department. It does however highlight the tangled knots of administration and a failure of the system to help anyone manage repairs effectively.
For your information:
Flat 12 Curran house repairs: outstanding upgrade of rewiring to the whole of the flat. Water leaking from wet room into flat number six below, resident advised me of the continuous leak on Monday 19th May. Window in the kitchen needs repair to the chain mechanism, which is not working. Gas boiler bar pressure slowly reducing every 4 to 8 weeks over the last year.
After repairs to my wet room facilities, where a leak was identified and mended, my neighbour at number six, Curran house informed me on Monday that there is still a leak coming in into the bathroom area in the middle of the ceiling. There may be a connection between the leaks which are continuous and the boiler bar pressure going down over a long period? So there may be a leak in the radiator system somewhere in the wet room area? Rewiring of flat and works to identify where the leaks are coming from, this will cause quite a lot of inconvenience which I must accept as part of this process. And the issue of the kitchen window and the chain mechanism has been going on for some months now. The rewiring issue is one of confidence in contractors to do the job properly, and recent information given to me is consistent with a negative experience from other service users.
Project managing: gas and radiators, for a leak into flat number six. A matter of health and safety given the leaks have compromised the electrical system below? These are things I don't know, but it is obvious that it is a concern, given many flats in this block have been rewired, and the letter sent out by the contractor on behalf of KC TMO. The reason I raise the issue of project managing, simply sorting out one problem without reference to the other may indeed double the work if it is not planned correctly and double the inconvenience, not only to the resident, but to the TMO duplicating time and effort to restore the property back to ordinary condition of habitation.
Rewiring contractor: Stewart electrical; my experience is some of the staff are belligerent, leading to a total lack of customer/service user as a priority. Damage to other service users facilities, gas systems, electrical systems, computers. Messy installations using conduits rather than a normal installation. Contractors leaving mess and not clearing up after themselves. This sort of conduct is insulting to those who have signed off on this contractor, and also to the service users. Some installations taking a long time to complete.
Having recently replaced the washing machine in my kitchen, I realised the mouse proofing exercise and repairs are incomplete. There are still large gaps where mice can get in, and this repair cannot be done correctly without sealing up the boiler pipes around the gas boiler. And in attempting to do this, it is obvious that any further repair work will be undone when the rewiring is initiated.
All repairs to my abode, have taken a long time, replacement of a defective water pump in the wet room, which is a simple and easy job took several months. And as a result of this particular repair/replacement, this exacerbated the leaking situation of water into the flat below. Which means any of the repairs done in the wet room/WC/kitchen have not been done correctly, they just looked okay and the principal problems have remained.
Mr Paget Brown please help,
Don Oddy
Flat 12, Curran House
Sent: Friday, May 16, 2014 8:33 AM
Subject: Fw: Health & Safety Issues
Dear Mr Paget Brown,

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.
Don Oddy
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2014 10:31 AM
Subject: Health & Safety Issues
Do you think your departments understand health and safety issues thoroughly? And is 10 working days to respond the right response?
Don Oddy
Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 2014 4:50 PM
Subject: Mr D Oddy, Flat 12 Curran House, SW3-Stewart Electrical

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.


Kind regards

Ms Dulce De Oliveira Watts
Complaints Officer

Description: kctmo logo email
0800 137111
292a Kensal Road, London W10 5BE

P Before printing, please think about the environment


From: Don Oddy []
Sent: 04 March 2014 11:48
To: (T) Complaints; Lorna Cunningham; Leader Paget Brown; Dave Stevens; Tim Coleridge
Cc: Nicola Rees
Subject: Stewart Electrical


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.