Former commissioner quits as housing charity chairman

Sir Derek MyersSir Derek Myers
Sir Derek Myers
FORMER Rotherham council commissioner Sir Derek Myers quit as chairman of housing charity Shelter following the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Sir Derek was previously chief executive at Kensington and Chelsea Council, which has been criticised along with the charity for its response to the fire.

He headed the intervention team brought in by the Government to fix Rotherham Borough Council from 2014 until he stepped down early in March.

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Former councillor Peter Thirlwall said: “Kensington and Chelsea have been substantially criticised by virtually everyone including the Government for their poor governance and the way they performed following the disaster at Grenfell. 

“This same man was also chair of Shelter. They have been completely stumped on the matter of Grenfell flats and have been criticised for this.

“I think it’s completely absurd that we have got commissioners on £800 a day trying to tell us what to do when in fact they ought to put their own home in order.”

RMBC leader Cllr Chris Read said he did not wish to be drawn into a discussion about Sir Derek.

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An internal email made public by the Guardian said Shelter staff had been unhappy at how slow the charity had been in speaking publicly about the Grenfell fire, which killed more than 70 people.

Tony Rice, another trustee to quit Shelter last Friday (23), is chairman of the firm which owns Omnis Exteriors, which sold the cladding used at Grenfell.

All schools will be checked for cladding, while NHS England has alerted hospitals to the risks.

UKIP councillor Allen Cowles brought his concerns to Monday’s (26) Cabinet meeting at Rotherham Town Hall. 

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He said he was concerned about other buildings with cladding, including old people’s bungalows, and called for reassurances about their safety.

Cllr Read pointed out high-rise Beeversleigh tower had been checked but said he had questions about other properties and had asked housing officers for a full breakdown.