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Quirk appoints three directors to lead on Grenfell response

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Kensington & Chelsea RBC has appointed three new directors to lead on the response to the Grenfell Tower fire.

This comes after the independent taskforce sent into the borough urged the council to bolster its senior management team to help deal with the aftermath of the disaster.

Chief executive Barry Quirk has confirmed Maxine Holdsworth has been appointed director of housing needs and supply on an 18-month secondment from Islington LBC where she is currently housing needs and strategy director. Ms Holdsworth worked on the Grenfell response team over the summer.

Hounslow LBC’s divisional head for resident services Doug Goldring is joining Kensington & Chelsea as its director of housing management, while Sheila Durr has been appointed the borough’s director of people and communities. Ms Durr has previously led social work services for Hackney LBC.

Mr Quirk said: “Finding new homes for those affected by the tragedy of the Grenfell fire is our number-one priority. Maxine and Doug will bring strong leadership to the teams responsible for helping residents out of hotels and into their new homes, so that they and their families can rebuild their lives.

“We know that community relations have been strained by the awful events of this summer. Sheila’s experience in working with communities will be key in strengthening our relationship with the local community in North Kensington.”

The taskforce’s damning report, published yesterday, said Kensington & Chelsea had “failed its community” and added there is “a severe trust deficit” between both parties.

The council has secured more than 300 properties for Grenfell survivors, as part of a £235m response to the fire. Money is being used to secure housing in the borough at social housing rents, while the council has also committed to meeting the rent, service charges, council tax and utilities bills of all those directly affected for a year.

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