Signs of Neglect

No. 50 Wordsworth Drive has a “To Let” sign outside. Strange, you might think, given that Pemberstone is hoping to demolish the houses asap. Still, every penny helps for a private investment company, eh? At least they keep the houses to a decent standard before evicting the community and knocking them down. Oh wait…

No. 50 has been empty for a few weeks. About a week ago it developed a serious leak; a pipe had burst, water began cascading through the kitchen and the ceiling collapsed. In this recent cold snap, it turned into a sheet of ice on the wall. This, and the fact that the cascade was still flowing, was reported to the managing agent Watsons on Monday 5th March. It had already caused serious damage to No. 50 and could potentially spread to neighbouring houses. No response. Someone came by on the Thursday — not to fix it, or even assess the damage. They put up a “To Let” sign. Water features may increase the rental prospects of some properties, but surely not this one.

Residents (re)reported it to the managing agent today and (re)stated the urgency. An emergency plumber was (finally) dispatched but, as Watsons doesn’t open on a weekend – or, apparently, have the protocol for a key-handover during a weekend – the plumber was forced to break in through a window. At least we know our homes will only be demolished during working hours!

This is the current state of the property (photos below) – thousands of pounds of damage. Much of which could have been mitigated by an immediate response to the reported problem a week ago. No. 50 is a great symbol of the situation of our estate: a wonderful home and an iconic post-war prefab building left to rot because the managing agent and the landlord just have other priorities (and that’s the generous reading of the situation).

This systematic neglect has got to stop. #SaveOurHomesLS26

3 thoughts on “Signs of Neglect

  1. During the recent cold spell you would at least think the empty houses would be checked to avoid this kind of thing happening. The house mentioned is in a particularly exposed position with miles of countryside to the rear. That’s why they want our homes. Wonder how many will want to live here when and if HS2 gets built

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  2. I was offered to view this house tomorrow with a Watson employee. But after reading all this I cancelled the viewing and mentioned everything that’s in this blog. Sorry to hear that money is more important to these companies than human lives!! I have told Watson agency they should have mentioned the demolishing plans to me in the first telephone conversation. It shows they are not honest from the get go about the situation you are all facing which is a red flag for me. My heart goes out to you and I hope you win the war! And will keep a look out for anymore events you will be doing in the future and see if I can come out and support you all. Never give up, never surrender!!!

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    1. Thanks so much for your support Linda. It’s terrible that you weren’t informed about the redevelopment plans from the outset and unfortunately this isn’t the first time – we’ve had new tenants on the estate recently that experienced the same thing. I just don’t think Watson and Pemberstone understand that people want secure homes for them and their families to rent long term, near their jobs and schools… and that we don’t have tonnes of money lying around to move out at the drop of a hat and afford somewhere else local. I’m really glad you found the blog in time to help you make your decision!!

      We’re going to fight it until the end and any support you can give is really appreciated. We’ll be marching through Rothwell next Weds (26 July) with the National Union of Miners if you are free to join us? Please do share our website and petition and we’ll have a Facebook page up soon for you to follow the latest. Thanks again 🙂

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