A few months ago, the horrifying conditions faced by Council tenants on Regina Road were exposed. Walls coated in black mould, dripping ceilings and faulty electrics all featured in ITV’s documentary, Surviving Squalor. Croydon’s Labour Leader Hamida Ali spent weeks apologising – but it’s clear that nothing has changed at Croydon Council.
Within the last few weeks, another tower block in Thornton Heath, also managed by the Council, was featured in the media for its appalling conditions. These included windows so draughty that they had to be covered with cardboard, and repeated power and water outages that left a 71-year-old blind man stranded alone in the cold for over eight hours, even after repeated calls to the Council.
Last week, local Conservative candidate Kofi Frimpong visited Kuala Gardens, a sheltered housing block in Norbury, alongside Cllrs Yvette Hopley and Margaret Bird. There, they spoke to residents about the conditions they are forced to live in. They found broken doors, water damage from the roof, missing fire extinguishers and no fire blankets in the communal kitchen, and filthy, mouldy walls. People that live in sheltered housing are often extremely vulnerable, and to leave them in conditions as dirty and unsafe as this is completely unacceptable.
Kofi Frimpong, Conservative Council Candidate for Norbury Park, said:
“Time and time again, we hear reports of vulnerable people being forced to live in sickening conditions. Whether it’s a young child struggling to breathe because of the damp and mould in the air, or an elderly resident who lives in fear because their front door does not lock properly - every time, it’s the same: the problems have been reported to the Council, their local Labour Councillors, and the local Labour MP - but they have refused to do anything about it.
These are people who just want somewhere decent and safe to live, yet this cruel Council is condemning them to cold, damp, mouldy flats without heating or electricity.
We will be standing up for these residents and helping to sort out these appalling problems – in stark contrast to their own local Councillors, who have cruelly ignored their desperate pleas for help.”