Mould and flying ants - is this a fit place for young children to have to wash? Thurrock Council's housing repairs policy under more scrutiny

  Posted: 13.06.21 at 11:22 by The Editor

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EXCLUSIVE - News and comment from Thurrock Nub News

ONCE again a thoroughly despondent Thurrock council tenant has contacted Thurrock Nub news to ask for help after being blanked by Thurrock Council as she tries to get a repair to her mould-ridden home.

A shocking video shows ants nesting in the washroom of her South Ockendon home, where she has to wash herself and three children, one of whom is just our months old.

The tenant has lived in her property for seven years and has suffered constant problems with mould, but in all that time the council has only tried to fix it once.

The ant infestation has been reported, but the tenant says the response from her housing officer was it is the householder’s responsibility to fix the issue- possibly by paying for pest control. Which, she tells us, she cannot afford.

Throughout 2021 Thurrock Nub News has been highlighting a number of homes which have problem with damp, mould and other faulty repairs.

An early story showed the awful conditions this child has to sleep in.

The council’s standard response is to tell us they will not discuss individual complaints – and the follow-up action for the householder is, more often than not, a total lack of action.

In an attempt to stir up the issue and force action, Thurrock Nub News editor Neil Speight contacted all 49 borough councillors in April as part of a hard-hitting report on the state of borough council homes.
Just five bothered to reply directly – and there has been no follow up action.

Mr Speight says: “The state of many Thurrock Council properties is a complete disgrace. Time and time again over the past couple of years we have highlighted shocking cases of sub standard repairs and damp and mould homes, occupied by children. But it’s like battering your head against a brick wall and I am now embarrassed when people contact me asking me to do something, because I know the council will do very little.

“I had hopes that the new housing portfolio holder Cllr Luke Spillman might make his first job in post be a call to arms over this problem – but the silence is deafening!

“Yes, there undoubtedly a significant number of tenants who are responsible for the poor state of their homes and I understand the council’s frustration at throwing good money after bad at some sites but we cannot come down to the lowest common denominator making policy.

“I have visited many homes and seen for myself, and spoken to the people concerned. These are not timewasters or people who don’t deserve help and it is shameful that Thuirrock Council continues to turn a blind eye to their needs.

"We will pass on details of this latest shocking case, but more in hope than expectation of anything being done.

"I repeat my earlier call – the time has come for an independent task force, with the power to implement change, to be created to did deep into Thurrock’s housing policy. What we currently have is not fit for purpose.”

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