Here’s my weekly Ham and High column – this time on the urgent need for repairs to the Noel Park estate – which the local Council are ignoring.
Last week I held a public meeting in a part of my constituency which has been neglected by Haringey Council for decades.
Council properties on the Noel Park estate have not had any substantial repairs or ‘decent homes’ work for over 30 years now. Week in, week out, residents contact me in despair about the state of their homes – and express their frustration at the lack of repairs.
I’ve heard horror stories about individuals and families living with extreme mould and damp, broken windows, and faulty appliances. Yet Labour-run Haringey Council and their housing contractor Homes for Haringey seem unable to complete basic repairs in an efficient and timely manner – let alone organise ‘decent homes’ work, which would see bathrooms and kitchens replaced.
It’s particularly bad for residents on the Noel Park estate, who have seen the council spend the government’s ‘decent homes’ fund on other local estates and blocks – sometimes twice over – while they are ignored.
And to make matters even worse – it was revealed last year that the Labour-run Council allowed £3.7 million to be spent on bonuses for Homes for Haringey repairs staff. That’s £3.7million that could have been spent in Noel Park.
One local resident said: “Residents on the Noel Park estate need urgent repairs, but the council and Homes for Haringey have not taken action.
“It’s not fair for the council to spend so much money on other places, and waste money on botched repairs, when the Noel Park estate is in such desperate need.”
The local Noel Park Liberal Democrat team and I decided enough was enough. Over the last year, we’ve run a petition calling on the council to make vital repairs to the estate, and to spend money on buildings, not bonuses. We’ve done hundreds of pieces of casework on behalf of residents, to try and get them vital repairs.
More recently, we met with housing chiefs from both Homes for Haringey and Haringey Council. At the meeting, they committed to make urgent repairs to Noel Park properties and consult residents about more substantive repairs – but we have heard this before.
That’s why I called the public meeting – to finally give residents the chance to have their voices heard.
The meeting was absolutely packed full of local residents, who were very angry about the status quo. They shared stories about the troubles they face on a day to day basis.
This time, the council and Homes for Haringey made the promises about repairs directly to the residents.
I will keep a close eye on this – and ask the residents whether repairs have been made. If they have not – I will have no qualms about publicising the further failure on my website.
These residents have been ignored for too long. I hope, as a result of the Lib Dem campaign and the public meeting, the residents will finally get the repairs and living conditions they deserve.