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Brooke House isn’t safe for kids...get us out now
4:10pm Wednesday 1st January 2014 in Echo News
FAMILIES have urged Basildon Council to move them out of a notorious tower block after the authority deemed it unsafe for children.
A six-month review carried out by the Tory administration into problems at the Grade II listed Brooke House, in Basildon town centre, has found it was unsuitable for children and should not be marketed as family accommodation.
With the majority of the block’s tenants having young children, frustrated parents want to know what the council now plans to do with them.
Gemma Croft, who lives with her two children in the block, said: “Just this week there was a raid upstairs and my children have got to sit through this.
“Of course this place isn’t safe for children – the council should tell us something we don’t know.
“I’ve been trying to move for three years and have had no luck. The housing system should be based on priority, not how long you’ve been on the list for.
“I’m in a one-bed flat with my two children, but how is the council supposed to move out all the families from this block?”
The council launched the review at the request of residents and the findings will be presented to its overview and scrutiny committee, who will decide what to do next. As well as deeming the building unsuitable for children, the report also urged the authority to look into the possibility of converting twobedroom flats into one-bedroom homes so they are for adults only. The tower, which contains 84 flats, has been riddled with problems down the years, including drug dealing, parties spilling out onto corridors, rubbish strewn across public areas, and plenty of anti-social behaviour.
Mum Lesley Bailey, 47, who has an eight-year-old child, added: “The roof is leaking at the moment and water is running down the corridor to me on the 11th floor.
“I’ve had to put buckets out to catch the water, which is running freely by electrics. I’ve found needles here so it’s completely unsuitable for children.”
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