Aylesbury Estate residents say they feel scared to leave their homes because lift and stairwells to their flats have been left pitch-black for five weeks.
They are among the last remaining leaseholders in phases 1B and 1C of the Southwark Council’s plans to demolish and re-house the estate’s occupants, and say this is the latest in a line of problems.
Hodden Husan, 34, who shares a flat with her disabled mum, her dad and two little boys, said the lack of lights had been “frightening” for her family.
She claimed her four-year-old son had also tripped over a cable that was left crossing the dark entrance to their stairwell by a worker, even though she and other residents had been complaining since February 17.
Another leaseholder, Beverley Robinson said: “There’s no light in the stairwell or the lift-well. It’s worrying as well because there’s a lot of crime around and we get homeless people trying to shelter here.
“I have complained by phone and by email and copied in councillor Mark Williams [Southwark Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and new homes] and the main council officers for the housing department. But I just don’t hear anything back.
“They know there’s only a few of us left.”
Beverley bought her flat having worked for thirty years for the Royal Mail. She and her last remaining neighbours are waiting to hear the result of a government enquiry in to the council’s planned Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) of their homes May. The CPO would force them to move, and with no choice but to accept equity shares in flats elsewhere.
Cllr Richard Livingstone, Southwark Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “The housing team have gone out to inspect the lighting problems that have been reported to the paper and repairs are being done, and I would like to thank the Southwark News for raising the issue with us. We have also made it clear to the security contractors that under no circumstances should any wires or cables be left where they can cause a trip hazard and this should not happen in future. The housing team are also introducing weekly block inspections to try and pick up problems like broken lights much earlier and without having to rely on the remaining residents to report the problems.
“We do appreciate that there are several, on going issues around lighting and leaks in the block, as there are all over the Aylesbury Estate, which is one of the main reasons we have embarked on the regeneration scheme. We are doing all we can to make the blocks as safe and comfortable as possible for the handful of residents who remain on site 1b/c and we do strongly encourage them to report repairs and problems straight away so they can be dealt with.”