Ross House: Ollie comes good and EKH have 13 Job Vacancies to fill

Screenshot from 2019-11-10 23-53-06Thank you. Thank you to Oliver Gordon Davis (pictured), the developer who refurbed Ross House and sold it to Folkestone & Hythe District Council for £1.8 million. Oliver has given a willing commitment to assist and work with the council and EKH to resolve concerns around safety issues at Ross House. We hope that means you’ll put your hand in your pocket and pay for some of the mess.

The Council say in a press release about Ross House

  • “A fire risk assessment was also completed by an independent assessor on the property prior to acquisition. These assessments did not highlight any problems with works completed.”

All the members of the team who have visited Ross House ask is: how did they not notice any compartmentalisation to prevent fire spreading from one flat to another? The same goes for the loft space, no firewalls to slow the fire for 30 minutes. No expanding seals on the doors and doors which were not fire compliant amongst other issues.

The Council knew back in April 2017 they wished to purchase Ross House. They did so in April 2018 as part of the council’s Housing Revenue Account New Build & Acquisition Programme. And then farmed it out to East Kent Housing.

We know the second fire risk assessment in Nov 2018 was “intolerable“. The Council did nothing for a year. When they did act  they put in place  24 hour security/fire watch presence at Ross House. If the situation is not as bad as the Council says it is, why these extreme measures?

The council say they are committed to ensuring residents safety in Ross House and in other council-owned housing across the district and will ensure that these concerns are fully addressed as a priority. If the job had been done properly neither the Council or East Kent Housing would be in the mess they are in. Perhaps this a good example of the Peter Principle in action.

Staying with East Kent Housing, we notice they are advertising for 13 full time positions, and 2 non paid positions

Given all the bad publicity around East Kent Housing and its reported major failing regarding fire safety since 2014,  and the fact that in her last three positions the Chief Exec of EKH Deborah Upton has had issues with fraud, overpayments and disrepair happen on her watch, why would any right minded person come to work there?

EKH will more likely than not become a dead duck sometime in the new year, after the consultation results are known. Why work for a company which has had such bad publicity nationally and led to Rosie Duffield MP to ask questions in Parliament about safety concerns of Gas Safety Certificates?

G Fuller

East Kent Housing are currently working closely with the council’s Building Control Team . According to a response given to Cllr Gary Fuller (Lib Dem) at full Council last night, Building Control visited Ross House on seven occasions between April 2017 and April 2018. And not once did they notice the lack of fire compartmentation – this stops fire spreading – or lack of fire seals on the doors, or the fact that the doors were not fire complaint, nobody noticed and these are qualified people… scary.

The Council agreed to grant itself access to £100 million last night at full Council for their Otterpool Park project. Perhaps  if only a fraction of this sum was spent on bringing all the Council homes  in the district up to the Decent Homes Standard and maintaining that standard, we would have no more Ross House’s or issues with Landlord Gas Safety Certificates, legionella, electrical or lift issues.

All parties are to blame for Ross House, The Council, EKH and the Developer. The fact they are putting it right out of legal necessity rather than choice, demonstrates quite clearly the refurb and the signing off were not done properly. For if it were, it wouldn’t need doing all again.

The Shepwayvox Team

Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful

About shepwayvox (1802 Articles)
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6 Comments on Ross House: Ollie comes good and EKH have 13 Job Vacancies to fill

  1. As Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s legal team would not prosecute the builder (Crusade Building Services Ltd) for breaching building regs on our house, because they say we wouldn’t let them back to put it right (under the consumer rights act we didn’t have to ask him back) Are they going to get Crusade Building Services back to put right what they did on Ross House free of charge or are they going to prosecute them?

  2. Don’t think you meant £100,000,000 million? Perhaps £100 million?

  3. Well done to the Shepwayvox Team for being so magnanimous towards Oliver. How long will those 13 jobs last for and are any to be for Mrs Upton’s “friends”?

  4. Whilst at Medway she brought in Marc blowers, promoted him through the ranks, went on to cover up him giving jobs to not only mates but mates of mates,

    He has since been marched from the building at Medway Council for an undisclosed reason ( I suspect with an NDA in tow) and turned up at MHS homes, he was again dismissed from MHS for coaching his mates from Medway through the recruitment process at MHS. I am lead to honestly believe he was offered a post at EKH by Ms Upton, but even he turned it down no doubt because of the toxic mess that is now EKH?

  5. doggerbank56 // November 25, 2019 at 11:08 // Reply

    If the fire risk assessment was completed by an independent assessor has he been asked to explain what went so badly wrong? Also, does he have professional indemnity insurance?

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