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MP calls two-year wait for improvements to ‘neglected’ block of flats in Carlton an ‘utter disgrace’

Gedling MP Vernon Coaker has slammed a housing association for keeping residents waiting over two years for urgent improvements to a ‘neglected’ block of flats in Carlton.

Mr Coaker said it was an ‘utter disgrace’ that residents of Walton Court have been waiting so long for internal and external improvements to their building.

The MP has now called on the chief executive of Jigsaw Homes, who owns the property, to meet with himself and residents to discuss the situation.

He said: “I’ve had meetings with residents and have been asking for action from Jigsaw Homes for over two years.

“While the initial delay is understandable and, rightly so, as it was cladding that was deemed dangerous, that was over two years ago and still residents do not have a date for when works will start.

Mr Coaker said that a recent email from Jigsaw Homes stated that they planned to clean the building, but had no plans for new insulation or painting. They also didn’t commit to a start date for the cleaning work.

He said: “It is clear to see that Walton Court has been seriously neglected by the owners of the building and despite my ongoing work get them to make the improvements, they have never materialised.  

“The residents were promised the improvements, I was promised the improvements and yet the outside of the building remains a complete eyesore.

Walton-Court
Walton Court (IMAGE: Gedling Eye)

“I have been given different time frames from Jigsaw Homes and I am very concerned that works will continue to be delayed. I have asked the chief executive to meet myself and residents at Walton Court. I will be expecting to see real plans for the building, including substantial work to the outside of the building as promised.”

Mr Coaker added: “There is currently work and investment locally for the regeneration of this area of Carlton taking place and it would be unacceptable if Jigsaw Homes let down the area, the residents and community by not carrying out the works so desperately needed to Walton Court.

“They need to take responsibility for the building they own, commit to real improvements, not just cleaning it and to start the works immediately. I think it is an utter disgrace that residents are still waiting’.

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Hilary Roberts, Jigsaw Group Chief Executive, said a clear plan of works for Walton Court was now in place.

She told Gedling Eye: “I understand the frustration of the residents of Walton Court with the time it has taken to carry out improvement works. This project has taken much longer than we had anticipated, but had to be postponed while we awaited guidance on tower block improvements and revised in the light of that guidance.

“There is now a clear plan of works, which includes improvements to the external appearance, redecoration and refurbishment of the communal areas and the installation of a sprinkler system. We have appointed a lead contractor earlier this month to work on the project and aim to start by the end of October.

“We are in the process of organising for the residents to review the plans in early September and to meet with representatives of the company and of the contractor at the September meeting. We also look forward to discussing these plans shortly with Vernon Coaker, MP. 

She added: “Jigsaw Homes remains committed to improving the homes of our residents and working alongside the local authority and other partners to invest in the regeneration of this area of Carlton.”

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