On Tuesday 26th September residents from the Ledbury Estate tower blocks appeared in an emotional interview with BBC London News pleading with Southwark Council for respect and to listen to their issues and concerns.
As works begin to install a new district heating system to the four tower blocks on the estate, residents describe the situation as 'living on a building site' with many unable to move into temporary accommodation as the B&B hotel rooms on offer do not meet their requirements or needs. Southwark Council have so far been unable to offer any resident self contained temporary accommodation with kitchen facilities, meaning many families who wish to leave whilst the works take place are unable to do so, including those with young children who require the use of a kitchen. Many residents continue to bid for new permanent homes through Southwark Council's 'Homesearch' system, but again residents have raised concerns over the low number of council rent properties on offer, the time taken between bidding and being able to move, as well as the distress of having to bid against their fellow neighbours. Some leaseholders who have opted to stay in B&B accommodation due to the intolerable conditions, have been told by Southwark that their only option for a self-contained unit would be to rent on the private market at their own cost.
Residents have also complained of ongoing leaks, the strong smell of fumes from generators outside getting into the flats, and the lack of information and updates on delays to heating works in some properties.
The BBC piece also included comments from Andrew Brookes of Anthony Gold solicitors, who is representing families on the estate and spoke in his interview of the residents being entitled to compensation which could be 'substantial'.