We Love Stoke Newington is for residents living in the local area providing updates about local meetings, campaigns and useful information. This site is maintained by your local Labour team for Stoke Newington.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Morris Blitz Court – our response

One of the opposition parties in Stoke Newington has put out a story about Morris Blitz Court in our ward.

We’ve been working over the last year and a half to ensure that improvements will be made to Morris Blitz Court. We stand by our leaflet which says that we fought for major works on the block – Morris Blitz Court is now in the Decent Homes programme which is a national government funded scheme to make sure all homes are wind and watertight with windows, doors, wiring, brickwork, kitchens and bathrooms replaced if they are in poor condition.

Other political parties have obviously just picked up on the problems on Morris Blitz Court now at election time. Instead, we’ve been working to try and resolve these for the past year and a half. Much needed improvements will be made – in the next year – rather than rejecting the funding for decent homes and facing more years of uncertainty and appalling conditions on the block.

Other political parties need to answer the question – how would they ensure that the block is improved without the funding that is available through the decent homes programme?

There were consultation meetings with residents during 2009 (see here and here and here) where plans were discussed and presented. There were strong views expressed at these meetings, and council officers then talked to residents individually to ask if they wanted the decent homes programme to continue – the vast majority were in favour, understanding that it would mean improvements being made to Morris Blitz Court. Residents on the block told us they still want the works to go ahead.

Moreover following a walkabout with residents, it was clear that Decent Homes was not enough on its own, and we lobbied for an estate plan to be drawn up to sort out the problems with damp, consider what to do with the community hall, the green spaces and improve security on the block.

As a result of our action:
  • The police have done a survey of the block to identify how to improve security
  • Individual flats which had problems with damp are now in the process of being repaired
  • We’ve reported all known problems to Hackney Homes – including issues with the security doors, and estate cleaning
However, we feel Hackney Homes have let residents down over the timescales of the decent homes work and we’re pushing for:
  • better consultation with residents. The last meeting to discuss the plans was at the end of last year. This clearly isn’t good enough and we’ve asked Hackney Homes to arrange a meeting as soon as possible to keep residents informed about the proposals and provide feedback
  • A resolution to the bin location. Hackney Homes refused to reopen the chutes meaning that residents have to throw their rubbish over the wall. This is clearly unacceptable. Officers carried out a survey on residents preferences for the location. However, although the enclosure has been built the bins have not yet been moved. We’ve pushed for this to happen asap and demanded explanations from hackney Homes about why it has taken so long
  • More support for the TRA so residents can decide how to spend their Estates Improvement Budget and make the changes they want to see.
We are committed to making sure these improvements happen to Morris Blitz Court, and believe that when the Decent Homes works do start, it will make a big difference.

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