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‘Neglected’ mum and daughter moved to Westminster council flat without electricity or heating

PUBLISHED: 14:50 09 November 2020 | UPDATED: 15:11 09 November 2020

Shannon Aldridge, 22, says she and her daughter, who is 5 years old, had to wear jackets and dressing gowns to keep warm. Picture: Darren Pepe

Shannon Aldridge, 22, says she and her daughter, who is 5 years old, had to wear jackets and dressing gowns to keep warm. Picture: Darren Pepe

Archant

A young mum and her five-year-old daughter say they have been “neglected” by Westminster Council after being put in cold, dark and dirty temporary flats.

Shannon works as a school dinner lady and was formerly homeless. Picture: Darren PepeShannon works as a school dinner lady and was formerly homeless. Picture: Darren Pepe

On Sunday (November 1) the two were moved to a temporary flat in Maida Hill, but arrived to find there was no electricity or heating.

Shannon Aldridge, 22, said they were moved into the property having previously been put in a bedsit in Finsbury Park that had “thick dirt” in its bathroom and kitchen.

Ms Aldridge, who works as a school dinner lady and grew up in Ashmore Road, said: “We arrived on Sunday and there was no electricity so I couldn’t even put the heating on.

“The new one is two bedrooms, but my daughter has been here in the dark for so long that now she’s still scared. We tried to keep warm by wearing jackets and dressing gowns.

“I had to use the torch on my phone, and when the battery ran out I could only recharge my phone at work.

“I’ve been told the communal area is a fire hazard because it’s full of c**p.”

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In June Ms Alridge was placed in an emergency accommodation flat in Finsbury Park. 

“I went to the place in Finsbury Park after I was made homeless,” she said. “The place was filthy and disgusting.

“I had one bed that I shared with my daughter. There was thick black mud and dirt in the kitchen and the bathroom. It was so dirty. They didn’t tell me anything about the flat before they moved me in.

“I was there for five months and no one came to do anything about it.”

Westminster Council said it took the complaint “extremely seriously”
A spokesperson said: “In this case, the resident had recently moved into temporary accommodation provided by the council. However it quickly became apparent that the flat had a faulty electricity metre – an issue which we were previously unaware of.

“The power has now been restored but we understand how inconvenient this must have been and apologise for the distress it caused.  

“We are concerned to learn of the other complaints raised by the resident and have arranged an inspection to address any further problems.”

A spokesperson for Notting Hill Genesis housing association (NHG), the landlord of the Maida Hill flat, said the electricity repair was made within 24 hours from when it was first reported.

NHG said that it would contact Ms Alridge to “ensure there are no further issues”.


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