By Local Democracy Reporter: Christine Sexton
THURROCK councillors have called for a report on mould in the borough’s homes, which they say is blighting lives.
Members of the council’s housing overview and scrutiny committee met on Tuesday to discuss a growing problem of mouldy council homes.
A report to councillors said condensation of warm, humid air onto cool walls was the single biggest cause of damp and mould issues within its housing stock.
But Joy Redsell, Conservative councillor for Little Thurrock Blackshots, said conditions in the three 1959-built Blackshots blocks were “disgusting”.
She said:”We have got water running down the walls in those blocks and it is actually at the moment running down the outside of the walls. Whether that’s because of the rainfall we had but I don’t think so. We’ve had rainfall before.
“Councillor Maney and I have had many, many reports. I had one case where it took us 18 months to get the woman out. She was walking through sewage, raw sewage. We actually in the end got her into a two-bedroom and then we moved her again. We’ve got a woman who has lost a baby and there is another young baby in there with water actually running down the walls.
“You’re saying about opening windows. If you’ve got a young child in those windows up above, we all know children will find a chair get on to get out
“The three blocks in Blackshots just need to come down. We say we’re going to do work on the outside but it’s a waste of money. We shouldn’t be putting people in high-rise. it’s just something that shouldn’t happen.”
Ms Redsell added: “We seem to be blaming people because of what they do. Those flats weren’t made for dishwashers and washing machines. There’s no drying rooms, nothing. Its just telling them don’t use your appliances.”
Mike Fletcher, Labour councillor for Belhus, was also concerned. He said: “I’ve noticed damp and mould as a problem issue become much more than an issue in last two or three years. In a lot of cases I’m being told by residents that initially they’re told it’s you, it’s what you’re doing, it’s your fault.”
In the report the council said an analysis of repairs for the last two years showed damp and mould repairs represented only 4.1 per cent of the total number of repairs to council properties.
Nevertheless, this still represented 1,123 council owned properties that required remedial work for this issue. This equates to 11.4 per cent of housing stock.
Councillors called for a report and work plan to be compiled by November.