Friday, December 8, 2023

Is mould at its worst in South Ockendon?

AS THIS YT reporter was walking to Quince Tree Close on Saturday, a resident approached him and asked: “Are you a reporter? (must have been the trenchcoat and pork-pie hat). When told yes, they then said: “Well you must be here about the mould.

The lady then told YT about the problems in her flat and the state of health of not only herself but her young son.

YT then made their way to our appointed meeting with Donna Merchant.

Donna had down-sized back in October. Since then, she has been inundated with problems of damp and mould.

According to Donna, the council have done many things but none of them seem to be working.

She has been greatly assisted by two of her ward councillors, Lynn Carr and Barry Johnson,

Cllr Carr said: “My post-bag is in-undated with problems due to mould and damp. Donna is just the tip of the iceberg. The council say their actions are transforming lives. I don’t see that at all.”

YT filmed in Ms Merchant’s flat and discussed the problems she was encountering.


  1. Sadly Donna’s story is one of thousands in Thurrock, we have the same old story time and again that the tenent is to blame, well lets put the record straight once and for all, it is the Deputy Director of Public Health for South East and South West Essex that is advising TBC regarding the Health issue’s on living with mould and how to treat it. The incompetence or sheer ignorance of this man is putting the lives of thousands of resident’s in Thurrock at risk and most of those are children.

  2. I watched the video and immediately saw what to me were most likely causes of mould and condensation.
    The round extract vent in the bathroom has a wet patch surrounding it. This leads me to believe it may be leaking ducting or badly installed.
    The pattern of damp on another ceiling also indicates missing insulation.
    I may be wrong but these issues look most obvious and I simply can´t understand why someone doesn´t look for moisture causation instead of trying to control it with HRV,which is a very costly option in terms of wasted energy and maintenance cost
    Jeff Charlton

  3. We had a ground floor flat in Cranell Green in South Ockendon with terrible mould problems. Council solution – stick up plasterboard covering the damp mouldy wall – result – dampness and mould on the plasterboard. We were loaned dehumidifiers that just ran up the electricity bill. Constant cleaning with bleach and disinfectant would stop the problem for a while but the mould would always come back. It was so bad that the wallpaper would come off the walls!

    The real problem was the lack of ventilation and crumbling cement between the brickwork. The cement looked like it was mostly sand and stones and very little else (we were told the flats were built by Italian POWs after WW2 and quality materials and good workmanship were in short supply!). Most of the older council homes were built with coal fires that provided constant airflow and the problems started after gas central heating was installed with inadequate ventilation and then double glazing resulting in condensation traps.

  4. Sadly there are ‘hidden’ mould stories like this all over the UK. Equally as sad is that our government is years behind many other countries in their understanding of mould and remediation/ decontamination.
    You won’t be told to wash off with bleach and paint over with mould cover up paint in Scandinavia for example. The Scandinavian government values the health of its country.
    We, the affected, need to stand together to force change. Our government has to admit what they already know, that mould is a hazard to human health. They have to admit, that they don’t have correct procedures/legislation/protocol in place and they must action a change.
    Post your own story, find support, access advice, or pledge your campaign support on Twitter MouldUK.
    Vote for change via the website www. 38 degrees, search for mould to find the correct campaign. and ensure they make the campaign national, and get international support.

  5. ED, Cranell Green is in my patch (Belhus) I have spoken to so many residents who are desperate to get rid of the mould and turn to the council for help, as yet Ed the pilot scheme does not reach Belhus for another two years, until residents come together on this one, things will stay the same.
    You might want to ask your councillors why they have not supported any of the residents?

    Deirdre Lodge
    Toxic Mould Campaigner

  6. Moved 10 years ago – just pointing out Council knew it was a problem back then and it has taken your campaign to get something done.

  7. Ed, really glad to hear you are no longer living there, you are one of the lucky ones who were able to move, its not the case now. I have had so many phone calls from tearful mums saying thier children are suffering from breathing difficulties, some as young as two are on nebulizers. The council are now taking this seriously, BUT, throwing money away on firms that do not know what they are doing and thinking a quick flick of anti fungal paint or a HRV will solve the problem isnt going to happen and so it goes on. I would like to see the council taking advise from those that know what they are talking about, it cost’s nothing to listen.


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