Residents of the Ledbury Estate who've been without heating since 11th August when gas was removed from the four towers due to safety concerns, have welcomed works to install a new diesel powered district heating system to all flats, restoring heating facilities ahead of autumn cold spells. This comes after residents were told that they weren't allowed to use electric heaters as the electricity supply to the towers wouldn't cope with the usage level.
After many complaints from residents that they were suffering from the cold, children receiving medical attention after contracting chest infections, and legal action being taken by some residents to enforce Southwark Councils obligations to provide heating, Southwark Council proudly announced that the installation of the new system (a project which would usually take 9 months) was ahead of schedule, with staff working seven days per week to make this possible.
The system is due to be fully active, with heating to all flats by the end of October.
Although there have been some teething problems with the new system, related to leaks, electrical issues and lack of instructions on how the controls work, residents are relieved to have heating restored and spoke of their surprise at just how quickly a system could be installed.
One resident of the towers said 'it's a shame that legal action had to be taken before Southwark reacted, we were so cold at night, and for quite a while it seemed as though they were happy to leave us like that. But it goes to show that when Southwark Council want to pull out all the stops, they can. The resources are clearly there for them to be able to make residents lives more comfortable, more quickly, it's just an issue of will on their part. This demonstrates that Southwark have the ability to iron out problems that arise speedily and hopefully in the future it won't have to resort to such pressure and legal action to get them to react.'
The diesel powered district heating system is due to be switched over to a gas system following major works in the coming months, with boiler houses located outside the towers.