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Norwich MP calls for action on council home repairs

PUBLISHED: 06:30 20 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:34 02 July 2010

Chloe Smith, Conservative MP for Norwich North

Chloe Smith, Conservative MP for Norwich North

Kate Scotter

A city MP has called for immediate action to be taken on council house windows, which are in desperate need of repair.

A city MP has called for immediate action to be taken on council house windows, which are in desperate need of repair.

The Evening News reported earlier this week how many families in Bowers Avenue, Mile Cross, said they had been promised new windows for the past five years, but the work had still not been done.

They recently received a letter saying that the windows will not be replaced for another year because the council cannot afford to do the work.

Now Chloe Smith, Conservative MP for Norwich North, has written to the director of regeneration and development at Norwich City Council asking him to investigate the case as a matter of priority.

She said: “Many people in aging city housing are having problems with their windows. I appreciate that there is a rolling programme of repairs, but for many people maintenance is not happening.

“Residents were told in 2005 that their windows would be replaced. In spite of this, however, no action has been taken to install new windows in their homes. Many of their windows are in a state of serious disrepair and some households are unable to close their windows fully.

“As a result, homes can be extremely cold and draughty. In this time of rising fuel prices, that's expensive and not fair. And, of course, it's a security risk as well to have inadequate windows. This isn't good enough. I want to see something done.”

The new polyvinyl chloride unplasticised (PVCu) windows are aimed to keep homes warmer and more energy efficient.

Ninety per cent of council homes on the Mile Cross estate has already had new windows fitted, but at least 10 maisonettes have been overlooked and are still waiting.

John Darmont, 51, who lives with his wife Teresa, 49, said: “It's very, very cold and the windows are beyond help.

“The council just keeps putting it off and putting if off. My next door neighbour who has got two kids can't even get her window shut.”

Last year, city councillors agreed to pump an extra £7m into the project in a bid to speed up the window replacement scheme.

The programme costs £19m and will see 10,700 homes fitted with new windows. It was due to be completed in 2015

A City Hall spokeswoman said: “We do have a rolling programme of window replacements. We certainly have not told anyone in this road five years ago they were due windows and now said they won't be put in for another two years.”

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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