Saturday, July 13, 2024

Blog: Down your way with Danny

Down your way with Danny.

“I noticed another blog from Mr.Peter.Perrin, who is another blogger of note.

He was discussing an article that had, been raised and pursued by Mrs.Dee.Lodge regarding Toxic Black Mould which is a Category 1 Hazard to life and a major health problem, I also noted that the Secretary of State for communities and local government, Mr.Andrew.Stunell in answer to a written question asked by Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price in which he states “Damp and mould growth is a category 1 Hazard, all councils under a duty to take action in such cases.

It seems that the Belhus ward Councillors, Charles and Wendy Curtis and Sue Gray, have decided to down grade the serious hazard category 1 down to category 4.

If the secretary for state, has given it a category 1 which is a serious health risk to life, and a category 4 is not a risk, then how can three ward councillors down grade it, they haven’t the power or right to do it. Does this make them liable by law to pay compensation to anybody living in a mould ridden house or flat by down grading this government act?

It looks to me and several other residents that, these three councillors have either suffered from either a bout of CRASS STUPIDITY, or they have washed their hands of the matter.

I spoke to one tenant, who’s name I cannot reveal, but who lives in the maisonettes in Orchard Close, as had to endure many months with Black Toxic Mould, which has invaded his kitchen and hallway areas.

He has reported the matter several times from the telephone inside the local housing office in Derwent Parade, on each occassion he as had to wait for up to ten to fifteen minutes with music blaring down the phone.

He has had the “mould man” out as they call him, at Morrison, he came along and sprayed it, and said that he had a serious leak, from the flat above and he would report it: He didnt, so another telephone call was made, and a housing inspector was going to come out as an emergency, that was at 10am at 4.45pm he turned up but didn’t ring the door to be let in, but left a card and went.

He again called the repair line from home, and said that nobody had come, they said they would send out another inspector, that was over six weeks ago, and he is still waiting for the housing inspector, and he is still breathing in very dangerous spores from the black mould, he is now receiving treatment for a severe viral breathing infection to his lungs.

The question isnt a case of will it harm you, but how long before it will kill you?

I am hoping to be down your way very soon. Danny


  1. I also am having trouble with TC housing repairs. After waiting for since early Febuary, still no visit. I have even e-mailed Graham Farrant, even he hasn’t bothered to reply!

  2. jmw118 it seems that the only thing the council and morrisons can agree on, is how long can they make a resident wait, for an answer, then there is the long wait for the right person to arrive, when they arrive they do a temporary repair, and tell you the right person will arrive later to do a proper repair, the question is why dont they send the correct person out in the first place, I dont think they have the correct amount of qualified work men, to carry out these repairs, and as for the mysterious housing inspector, they threaten us with, is he or she a figment of somebodies imagination, to keep us quite whilst they try in vain to cover all the repairs they have to carry out per day, let alone the emergency repairs, I think there should be a wake up call to leader of the council, to get his finger out, and get a complete competent company in to do repairs to council houses and flats before they are beyond repairing.

  3. jmw118 & danny. I had submitted a question regarding repairs, I intended to ask at the full Council Meeting held on Wed 21 March, 2012, but my question was refused on the grounds it had been submitted too late for inclusion on the agenda, so I will re-submit it for inclusion on the agenda for the June 2012 meeting. My question is “Please explain why you have transferred responsibility for requests for repairs to Council rented housing from the Council to the tenants, who now have to deal directly with contractors”? I have also submitted a blog to “Your Thurrock” regarding “damp and mould” in Council rented housing which, as an addition to “danny’s” blog, I repeat here.
    “A Word in Your Ear” from Mr Peter Perrin.
    Damp and Mould -Stop putting all the blame onto the tenants.
    Since writing my previous blog on damp and mould titled “Belhus Ward Councillors dismiss Black Toxic Mould as a Low Category Hazard” it seems that some Councillors are now putting all the blame for the damp and mould in Council rented homes onto the tenants. They say the tenants are entirely to blame as a result of “bad practices” i.e. not opening windows when cooking or taking a bath, blocking air- vents, using tumble dryers, drying clothes on radiators, etc. The Councillors may have a point but perhaps they would do better if they showed some understanding of the reasons why tenants feel compelled to resort to these so-called “bad practices”.
    Most of the Council housing stock was built before the introduction of central heating, tumble dryers, steamers and double glazing, all of which increase condensation which causes dampness resulting in mould. The “hole in the wall” ventilation may have been adequate at the time they were built but is no longer able to cope with modern day living and, I believe, is not a sensible way to ventilate a home. In the winter your home becomes an “ice box” and your heating costs soar to a level where you can no longer afford to adequately heat it. I also think there may be another cause of dampness in the home that the Council seem reluctant to consider as, if it were proven to be a cause of dampness, the Council would be responsible. I refer to the practice of “cavity wall filling” in which an insulating material is pumped into the cavity between the outer and inner wall of the building which is fine as long as the outer wall and damp corsing is still “fit for purpose” i.e. it keeps moisture out. If the outer wall is allowing moisture to penetrate into the material contained within the cavity, which then retains it somewhat like a sponge, when the heating is switched on the moisture is drawn into contact with the inside wall causing dampness thus enabling mould to grow. I am not an expert but I think my theory is a plausible one and is worthy of investigation by the Council.
    Councillors why don’t you, instead of being in denial that mould is a category 1 hazard, i.e. life threatening, and that it is all the fault of the tenants and their “bad” practices, look to installing modern and appropriate methods of ventilation which are cost effective to both council tax payers and tenants.
    I note that Southend Council is threatening to take legal action to prevent a private landlord, whose rented property was infested with mould, from re-letting the property until she complies with Health and Safety Law requiring that the property be free of category 1 hazards. Do I take it that there is one set of rules for private landlords and a different set of rules for Council landlords?
    I understand there will be a considerable cost to the Council [Council Tax payers] in solving this problem and I am not suggesting there is a quick and easy fix. But where toxic mould is present there is a life threatening risk to the tenants and their families. Surely that is reason enough for the Council to take urgent action to resolve the issue of mould in their rented housing.
    Instead of running around, as some Councillors are, telling tenants that mould is not a category 1[a threat to life] hazard but a category 4[not life threatening] hazard, Councillors should be sympathetic to the concerns of tenants, especially those with children. Tenants living in mould infested Council housing expect, rightly so, help and support from their Councillors not criticism and blame.
    It is disgraceful some Councillors are more concerned with their own protection and unwilling to accept any obligation, on the Council’s part, to resolve the issue of dampness and mould and to ensure that Council rented properties are decent, safe and FREE from category 1 hazards such as toxic mould and asbestos.

    Note for Cllr John Kent, Leader of the Council:- ACTION THIS DAY!

    Keep on “blogging” danny and keep on commenting jmw118.

  4. Hi Peter, There will be no cost to the local Council Tax payer for Thurrock Council undertaking repairs/improvements on their council house stock as expenditure on council homes has to come from the housing revenue account and not from the money collected from council tax. Money collected from council house rents can’t be used to subsidise other council services and money collected from council tax can’t be used subsidising the council house stock.

    Therefore any expenditure on solving the mould problem has to come from the money collected from council tenants rent.

    Thurrock Council has 10,300 properties. This years rent increases will make the Council £2.8 million and last time I looked the Housing Revenue account had reserves of £1.7 million.

    At the moment Thurrock Council hands over £12 million of the rents collected to the Government to the national housing debt pool. In February the Cabinet agreed to borrow £162 million to basically take over Thurrock’s share of the debt so all rent collected will remain with Thurrock Council and they will no longer hand over £12 million to the Government.

    As they are going to borrow £162 million the repayments will be £5.67 million – saving £6.33 million per year, so the council will have an additional £6.33 million in the Housing Revenue account.

    I assume some of this will go towards the Labour run council’s ambitious plans to build more council homes, but there does look as though there will be more than enough funds to start work on emergency remedial work on those home suffering from the black mould problem.

    Hope this is of use in your campaign. A lack of funds is not an excuse as there are reserves of £1.7 million and the Housing Revenue account reforms will give the council an additional £6.33 million per year.

    These reforms are perhaps one of the better ideas to come from the previous Labour Government but it has taken the current Coalition Government to actually implement it.

  5. Ed, thank you very much for your most informative response. I am waitng for a reply to an email I sent to Cllr Andy Smith on 9 May asking what action the Council is proposing to tackle the problem of damp and mould in Council housing. The information you have provided will, I am sure, be of great value.

  6. Thank you Ed and Peter Perrin, for all the information you have given, I understand that the TBC, is running scared at this moment in time, because as always they have completely lost the plot, it could be described as too many fingers in the pie, give them time and they will adopt the Ostrich syndrome, where they all put there heads in the sand and hope the problem of Category 1 Hazard Black mould, goes away, they still have time to save the day, and launch an emergency programme of removing all Black Mould from the houses and flats and bungalows that have it, and not leave it to three Belhus councillors who have demonstrated over and over that, they dont care about the people who voted for them, they have been called a waste of space, by ordinary people in the street of there own ward, so who ever told them to down grade black mould from Category 1 to Category 4, was really hanging them out to dry, I always thought it was an act of Government to either set the hazard rates for black mould in local communities and not three small local ward councillors, I was told to stop my campaign against the three ward councillors and the Labour council of TBC, that smacks of somebody running scared, and I think I know who that might be..

  7. Hello Danny. I read your blog and as before I am very impressed with your words. I am an ordinary tenant who is going through hell with not only my own problems but with my family and what they are going through. Re the black mould….I thank Dee Lodge for all the effort she is putting into her campaign albeit this lady is very ill herself. How come these three councillors have the right to think they are better than THE EXPERTS….where are their qualifications? Charles Curtis knew about this problem ages ago and decided not to follow it through now he is jumping on the bandwagon giving false information as to what category this falls under.
    As for the repairs situation this is now very bad…. I thought I was just an unlucky one…now I find there are many many people going through hell and back with the situation. Where is this mysterious inspector hiding himself…he is not allowed to take phone calls the repairs section cannot make appointments with him….the mind boggles.
    The whole Thurrock Borough Council needs a revamp and it is about time that Councillor John Kent comes out of his ivory tower …off his regal throne…and do something about the overall situation. After all he is supposed to be THE LEADER.

  8. Thank you Flower, and welcome to the campaign, to highlight the menace of Black Mould category 1 Hazard according to our present Governments Secretary of State for communities and local government, how local Belhus ward Councillors have seen fit to act , against Mr.Andrew Stunell secretary for state, and down graded his category 1 to category 4, and now they are running around like headless chickens, pleading that they got it wrong again, well nothing new there then, it seems that this threesome are only interested in what happens in the Flowers estate and the South Ockendon wards, and have cut off the people that elected them, the Belhus ward residents, last time good old charlie Curtis got it wrong was when, he got it so wrong with the Howard Tenens yard, he admitted at a meeting that he had been lying, and that he had got all his facts wrong, its about time he got a new script writer, as know body seems to take him serious anymore, the feeling amongst several other Labour councillors is that they made him, Mayor to keep him out of the way, and away from politics and the public, this council as lost the script as far as the Black Mould is concerned, I dont think the present government as appointed the three Belhus ward councillors, as policy makers or new law makers, the general public were sold down the river, as far as Housing repairs was concerned, they sold off everything that they could, so that they could just sit back and, make lots of money without having to work for it, so they farmed out our refuge department to private contractors, which meant a loss of work for council workers, they then sold off the housing repair departments, to Morrisons, who cant manage the repairs , as they are busy pruning back there work force, so that a few of the work force that is left, will have to double up as other trades, such as plumber carrying out Electrical work, Carpenters doing plumbing work etc, it is utter bedlam, with one hand not what the other hand is doing, so to save themselves embarrassment the council make there tenents ring Morrisons up directly, which means at least 15-20 Minutes wait for an answer, I suppose they hope that the people ringing will give up, and leave them alone, isnt it about time this Labour council started to spend the 2.8 million they will get this year from the increase in rents from there 10,300 properties, rid the council properties of category1 Black Mould and then take back the refuge department and the housing repair departments, and rebuild this council, so that it is fit for purpose for the future.

  9. Although I read your thurrock quiet regularly I do not often write a comment but felt compelled to add my voice to Danny’s Blog. I do find Danny’s blog very refreshing, his light hearted banter cheers up a dreary day. What I do not understand is why Mr Perrin has tried to highjack your blog? Does he not have his own blog ( A word in your Ear) I have also noticed that he is taking credit for Mrs Lodge’s Campaign, ED’S comments, and this is not the first time, I have read several people’s comments praising Mr Perrin for his mould campaign. Mr Perrin quoted some time ago that he put the question about mould to full council two years ago knowing full well that Mrs Lodge had intentions of doing this herself but was beaten to the post by Mr Perrin. I do enjoy reading Mr Perrins posts and find them quiet informative, but I do not like to see Mr Perrin jumping on the bandwagon of other people’s blogs and campaigns for his own merits.
    I do know Mrs Lodge has always said that the awareness campaign has never been about her and her soul purpose for this campaign was for residents not to suffer the terrible effects that she has had to endure, surely this is a selfless act on her part, you would do well Mr Perrin to take a leaf out of her book. I find it dispicable that in your eagerness to get noticed you will selfishly destroy any hope that Mrs Lodge has to keep politics out of her campaign. What I would like say to you Mr Perrin is this, this is my mothers campaign and through her goodness and compassion for others will see this through to the end, but with your constant interferance can make this very difficult for her. So stop riding on the back of my mothers good nature and let her help the council and residents work together in understanding the health effects of mould and where to go from here.

  10. I am at a loss to describe what I feel about Mr Perrin. He comes across as a man who takes great delight in hurting people. I will refresh your memory…”commenting on poor old Lyn Carr” poor old Barry Johnson” who with Amanda Arnold have worked so hard in making our community a better place to live in. Now taking the credit for all that Dee Lodge has worked so hard for. This woman is a “Star” in her own right. I am an ordinary mum not really interested in politics and I look at her as a person who has nothing to gain for what she is doing but what she IS doing is trying to make a better place for my family and many other families. It was Peter Perrin who wrote that Charles Curtis knew all about the mould and did nothing about it…perhaps peter perring could spend a little of his time having a go at Mr Curtis. Keep up the good work Danny and most of all a great big thank you to Dee and all her family for all their precious time they are putting in for all of us.

  11. I agree with everything that Brightspark and Flower have written, it as always been the same in local politics, there are those in the know, and there are ones who shouldnt be on the know, Dee Lodge as taken the fight forward to the TBC, for there complete neglect of eleven years with regards to Black Mould in residents homes, and I find it incredible that the TBC, as left themselves open, for any resident getting chest complaints from black mould, to sue them, the TBC has known about black mould since 2001 and that it was put into a, category 1 by the secretary for State, it is a wonderful piece of legistation stating that all council properties must, be completely clear of black mould and asbestos that was in 2001, it was a written instruction from the Queens government, had it been put into action by the TBC, Dee Lodge wouldnt be suffering from it, that is why it is importent, that the word gets out there, to all tenents of TBC, that is why I feel it is worth pursuing, but I have no intention of undermining all the good work Dee Lodge and her husband Simon, have put in all the hours and being up to all hours of the day and night fighting to get this news out to all residents, because believe me, this health hazard doesnt take sides what party you support, it will kill you, just like Asbestos, Black Mould kills by air bourne spores that are produced from the lethal mould, which is similar to asbestos that when disturbed releases deadly fibres that get lodged in your lungs, both are killers, that is why Charlie & Wendy Curtis and Sur Gray, the Secretary for State, made them category 1 and not as you wrongly stated in an official letter signed by you, that you have the nerve to down grade these deadly killers to a category 4 which is no risk!!?,
    I feel that a statement from Mr Kent, would help in this matter, and it should be looked at by an independent health committee, who should be appointed by the secretary for state, just in case Charlie and Wendy Curtis and Sue Gray dont know, the secretary for state is the person who made it a Category 1 Hazard to life, and not a category 4 non hazard to life, and this man works for the present Government, Both Flower and Brightspark have stated that Mr.Peter Perrin as taken the campaign over from Dee Lodge well I for one wont work with him, if he is intent on destroying everything that Dee Lodge as managed to do without any help from him, then I for one will have no more to do with him, he as done this once to often stolen the lime light for his own ego, I didnt mind him putting his blog on my blog the other day, but when I found out what his motives were, then I was really shocked, let me put it this way Mr Peter Perrin, this campaign isnt about you or your little ego, this is about saving peoples lives and preventing other people from catching this fatal disease, we are trying to PUSH the Thurruck council into, doing what should have been done in 2001, which free every house, flat bungalow, in the TBC area of Black Mould and Asbestos both category 1 hazords to LIFE, because this black mould and asbestos, is a Killier it strickes at children as well as adults, once inside your lungs, then its a matter of time before you die, there is no drugs or surgery that will save you, so please everybody support Dee Lodge in this fight to save everybody in TBC from these lethal killers..

  12. In view of the critical comments made about me by “brightspark” “Flower” and “danny” I feel obliged to state:-
    The “Awareness Campaign” is a campaign organised by Mrs Diedre [Dee] Lodge to highlight the danger of “Black Toxic Mould” and to make the threat to the lives and wellbeing of those exposed to it more widely known, especially to GPs and hospitals. It is NOT my campaign, I have never made any statement claiming that it is my campaign, on the contrary, when delivering leaflets or talking to people I have always made the point that Mrs Lodge was the driving force of the campaign. If any of my comments or actions have given the impression that I am attempting to “high-jack” the campaign for my own personal ambitions I can only say that was not my intention and I apologise to Mrs Lodge for any difficulties and distress this may have caused her.

  13. I have just read that peter perrin as said that he was sorry for taking over the campaign that Dee Lodge as ben pushing for full public awareness through GPs and Hospitals but also through TBC councillors, who feel that they can down grade a life threatening health hazard Black Mould, its a great pity, that peter cant put more effort into helping the cause, by helping dee lodge and the many other people who are happy to stay in the back ground, these are councillors and our MP and many note able medical people, the next time you fancy taking over a campaign check with the people if, they want you to do that or not, that goes for other peoples blogs, its nice to recieve answers and advise, but not see someone launch their blog, about something completely different, its not very nice, and you wouldnt like it very much would you peter.

  14. I would like to thank Mr Perrin for his comments, I hope in the future Mr Perrin you could rectify any comments that address you as the campaigner, the fact that you have not done so in the past has caused offence and rightly so.
    Danny, I find your comments very harsh toward Mr Perrin, I agree Mr Perrin should not have used your blog as his own and you have every right to criticize his actions but on your comment that Mr Perrin should put more effort into the campaign seems out of touch. Mr Perrin has helped deliver over 2,000 leaflets with my father to residents in South Ockendon and I have every respect for Mr Perrin’s loyalty to my mother to get this campaign out. With no disrespect to Flower and Danny, you are the first to condem and yet neither of you offered to deliver leaflets, if age or health come into play for an excuse then think on, Mr Perrin is 79 yrs of age and my mother is terminally ill.

  15. Thank you Brightspark for your comments regarding the matter as you say of mr.P.Perrin claiming falsely that he was heading the campaign that he wasnt, it isnt the first time, you also point out that Mr.Perrin is 79 years old and your mother is terminally ill, I also unerwent a seven and half hour triple heart bypass surgery last year and I am still recovering slowly, but I can assure you that I would, have gone out with some leaflets, if I had ben asked?, I have been I hope on good terms with both your Mum and Dad, and that is why I will continue to support both of your parents, your mother as only to pick up the telephone, I suggest you ask your mother and father before informing me that I have been harsh in my comments about Mr.Perrin, I can only suggest you read your comments, and then perhaps you can reflect on your own comments, I was very annoyed that Mr.Perrin chose my Blog to launch his own campaign, I have spoken recently to your mother regarding this subject, I dont want to keep this going as it subtracts from the main reason, I first mentioned it in my article, down you way with danny.

  16. Brightspark: I have just read your comment. When I read your comments re Mr Perrin I was surely annoyed as to what he was up to. I have the greatest respect to Dee for all that she has done and is doing and give her my utmost support and truly felt that Mr Perrin should be stopped in his tracks. Yes I am Mr Perrin’s age and I am disabled but have offered to your Mum any help I can give re printing etc. I only knew about Dee’s campaign when I finally got a new computer and read her article and because my family is suffering I got in touch with her to get some literature. I live in South Ockendon and I truly never knew of any campaign. Although you have said no disrespect to me …I feel that you have been disrespectable to me as you obviously know nothing about me and I suggest you have a word with Dee who will tell you all you want to know. If you did not want anyone to comment perhaps you should have had a quiet word in Mr Perrin’s ear!!!!!

  17. I have read your comments Flower, it is very true that Mr.Peter Perrin has on more than one occassion taken the reins for somebodies campaign, I suppose if he does take the lead, he doesnt have to do all the leg work, just take a share in the rewards, but I feel I have had enough of this matter, and will move on to something worthy of comment about our neighbourhood, it as taken me at least twelve months to admit that I getting old and I am still recovering from major heart surgery, so I will continue to support Dee Lodge and her husband Simon, as I have done over the months, as the killer Black Mounld is still out there, and we have a fight to bring it to the publics notice through what ever means we can, so one person isnt important at the end of the day.


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