Edwinstowe woman says damp council flat is ruining her life

AN Edwinstowe woman says she is fed up of living with damp in her council flat and has been waiting for more than a year to have the problem fixed.

Forty-two-year-old Vanessa Robinson has lived inside the Henton Road property owned by Newark & Sherwood District Council for 15 years but was made homeless in Christmas 2010 when a flood in a flat above caused leaks into her kitchen, living room, hallway and bathroom.

She was forced to move to a homeless shelter in Ollerton for four months but found that when she moved back the damp conditions had not been repaired.

The problems include wet walls and carpets, rotting wallpaper and plaster, a broken door as well as damage to electrics and the mum-of-two says the ongoing situation is having an impact on her and her family’s health.

“We’re completely sick of it, it has been our family home for 15 years, we have always paid our rent but we are being ignored by the council and I don’t understand why,” she said.

“More than a year later and I’m still trying to get the council to come and sort out the damage and mould, I’m forever ill will head colds and chest cold and even though I had an inspector out in August (2011), I’m still waiting.

“I was told in September that contractors were coming to rewire my property and I’m still waiting.

“I just can’t do another year this way, I am not in any arrears, in fact they owe me. I suffer from bipolar disorder and these problems are not helping my illness, sometimes I cannot get up in the morning and face the day.”

Vanessa says she was also promised new windows and radiators when they returned after four months away from the property.

“When we got back things had not been done, we were actually sleeping on cardboard on the floor because we had no beds and not many clothes,” she added.

“I have a nine-week-old grandchild but he will not be able to visit soon because of the damp, it is just lies, lies and more lies from the council and I want my life back.

“We’ve had to borrow stuff off people to get by, it’s very hard and I just want an end to it but it seems like there is someone at the council who does not like me.

“I’ve made repeated phone calls to them but nothing ever seems to happen.”

A spokesman for Newark and Sherwood Homes, who manage properties on behalf of Newark & Sherwood District Council, said: “In December 2010 Ms Robinson’s home was flooded by a leak from a flat above that was privately owned.

“We moved Ms Robinson into alternative accommodation whilst we dried out her home and carried out repairs.

“Although we have carried out the majority of work to her home unfortunately there are some issues which we have been unable to resolve due to difficulties we have experienced in gaining access to the property despite extensive efforts to contact Ms Robinson.

Following an e-mail from Ms Robinson on the 9th January, 2012, we have re-established contact with her and were able to inspect her home on the same day.

“In agreement with Ms Robinson we have ordered all outstanding repairs and agreed dates with Ms Robinson when they will be done.

“We have assigned a specific member of staff to support Ms Robinson to ensure that access to carry out the repairs is given on the agreed dates and we are hopeful that working together with Ms Robinson we can resolve the outstanding issues.”