Residents protest over conditions at Kennedy Court, Wisbech, as Circle Housing Roddons ‘regrets the delay’ in tackling the issues
- Credit: Archant
A housing association says it “regrets the delay” in tackling damp, mould, excrement and urine on stairways, litter, drug-taking, overflowing bins, uneven pathways and all-night parties on a Wisbech housing estate.
Angry residents of Kennedy Court aired their complaints at a series of meeting with county councillors Alan Lay and Paul Clapp. It concluded with both being shown around the estate and Cllr Lay accusing Roddons Circle House of “giving these people accommodation that’s not suitable for purpose”.
Cllr Clapp, Wisbech North Councillor, said: “People on this little estate just do not feel safe – it’s not right!
“If Roddons aren’t delivering the services they are paying between for then they should have to give the money back.”
Cllr Lay added: “It’s endemic because the buildings are cold. You put the heat on, but that increases the humidity.
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“Half of the problem is that several of the lower ground accommodation is covered with black mould.”
However, Roddons has now apologised for the conditions and say they are going to take further action.
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Sue Stavers, head of housing services for Circle Housing Roddons, said: “Our residents’ health and well-being is our top priority.
“We have been on site regularly over the past few weeks to talk to residents, and have cleaned and improved the communal areas.
“We have made good progress over the past year and are working with residents to address any outstanding issues that are within our control.”
Of the damp conditions she said: “We regret the delay in dealing with this issue. We are sending a surveyor to our resident’s home to investigate this as a matter of urgency.”
Relating to anti-social behaviour, she said: “Residents should report any issues relating to anti social behaviour to the Police in the first instance”.
She said: “We will shortly consult with residents on options for closing off the gap in the fencing on the boundary with Churchill Road.”
But Taylor Smith, a resident with two children – a six-year-old girl and a one-year-old boy, said it’s been going on too long.
“I’ve had the mould and damp ever since I moved in, which was February 2013.
“I couldn’t paint my walls because it just peels off.”
Damp covered windowsills and mould on walls and ceilings are regular features at many of the houses on Kennedy Court.
“It’s not fair – and we have to pay £100 rent per week,” she added. “I’m really fed up.”
Another resident - with three children between the ages of two and six - who pays over £90 rent per week, said: “It’s horrible; we’ve been living here for four years now.
“The damp and mould started not long after. I had a surveyor come out and he said it’s my fault and that I should have windows open and the heating on full.”
Jayne Abrams, another angry resident, said: “I’m absolutely fuming. I didn’t quite realise it was that bad - the sooner Circle Housing goes - the better.
“There are young children here who are being affected, and because there’s no lighting the garage is used for drug dealing - I’ve caught people doing it.
“I just don’t get it! she added.”
Resident Trevor Daisley said: “While Kennedy Court remains open there will always be a free-of-charge public toilet in Wisbech.
“The main thing I’m asking for is the discouragement of people littering and using the place as a toilet, but the reason why we don’t get litter bins is because we are a litter bin.”
Mr Daisley said he, his wife and sister are thinking of moving because of the poor conditions – which extends to all-night parties.
“They [Circle Housing Roddons] have had their chances.” He promised to campaign for improvements.
His wife Philipa wife said: “I had to call the police not long ago because of an 18th birthday party which went on from 5.30pm until 7.30am at one of the houses on the estate.
“There was screaming, fighting and blood - and there were at least 40 people there. I was shaking.”
After the incident, Mrs Daisley said she contacted Circle Housing Roddons to request that a letter be sent out to tenants.
“This took over a month-and-a-half to get a response,” she said.