Residents fear repeat of devastating flood
11 August, 2017 — By Emily Finch
Rosey Taylor, and John and Jasmine Smith
RESIDENTS at a block of flats in Angel have slammed the Town Hall for not doing more to prevent a repeat of flooding that devastated their homes last year.
Jasmine Smith, 36, who lives in Cluse Court, off St Peter’s Street, said her top-floor flat in the mostly council-owned block was “completely flooded out” in June last year after the Town Hall failed to clean the gutter on the roof for more than two years. She said three other flats in her block also suffered extensive water damage.
“The council destroyed us, no one said sorry for the stress they caused. They smashed my sofa up, the sofa my husband bought before he died and imported from Poland,” said Ms Smith.
“I start panicking every time it rains and I’ve had to take sleeping tablets.”
The mother-of-one woke up to the sound of “something like a bath running in my house” and faced thousands of pounds worth of damage after all of her furniture was destroyed by the deluge.
Ms Smith and her 10-year-old son, John, were forced to live out of a suitcase in various budget hotels for a six-week period while still paying the council rent for the flat.
She said it was not until nearly a year after the flood that the Town Hall admitted liability and offered her £900 compensation, while the actual cost of the damage was just under £2,000. She is also paying off a credit card bill from that period.
Ms Smith, who works as a mentor at a school, said she was worried about a second flood after noticing water damage on her ceiling.
She said: “I am still getting water through my walls. They [the council] send people round but they don’t do anything. Something is going on and they wont get to the bottom of it.
“They [the council] say it’s condensation, it’s not condensation, my windows are always open. It’s not like a stuffy apartment.”
Ms Smith has lived in the flat for more than 10 years and suspects the breathing problems her son suffered as a baby were down to damp.
Another resident, Rosey Taylor, 38, accused the Town Hall of “deliberate neglect” and called for better maintenance in the block. Ms Taylor is a leaseholder who pays around £1,000 a year in maintenance fees.
She said: “Residents have asked to have the the grotty stairwell repainted for donkey’s years. Instead, everyone was very surprised to see appear on the wall in the stairwell a flatscreen TV. It is beyond understanding how the council budget is managed – why money would go to installing a flatscreen that no one needs or wants.”
“In our current society council estate residents are seen as scum, benefit scroungers – I don’t know if this is how those within the council see us themselves. It would explain the contemptuous way in which they treat us.”
An Islington Council spokesperson said: “We’re sorry to hear of this resident’s concerns. We have sent a team out to Cluse Court on August 10 to investigate.”