Beckton mum and autistic daughter stuck in filthy flat months after repairs promised

PUBLISHED: 13:37 29 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:01 29 November 2017

Ayshea Watkins stands beside mould-covered walls in her Bradymead flat. Picture: Ken Mears

Ayshea Watkins stands beside mould-covered walls in her Bradymead flat. Picture: Ken Mears


Three months after a Beckton mum’s housing association promised to fix the filthy conditions in her flat, she and her autistic daughter still breathe in mould spores until they fall asleep.

Water leaks through the ceiling and down the walls of Ayshea Watkins’ flat in Bradymead.

There’s mould spreading around a broken pipe in the 42-year-old’s living room, filling the air with spores.

“It’s warmer outside than it is in here,” she told the Recorder. “My little one says to me: ‘Mum, when are we going to get some heating back?’”

Inspectors sent by her housing association, East Thames, recommended the wall and ceiling be ripped out to repair the damage.

Months later, the work still hasn’t taken place. Ayshea, who has breathing difficulties, and her 13-year-old daughter Ellie remain stuck in a home she says is hurting their health.

After Ayshea approached East Ham MP Stephen Timms for help, East Thames claimed the damage would be fixed soon.

“Contractors have now located the leak and will undertake the repairs whilst Ms Watkins remains in the property,” wrote group chief executive Yvonne Arrowsmith.

“Our housing manager is working hard to schedule these works within the next five working days to rectify all the leaks and make good the ceiling and wall damage to the property.”

Since Ms Arrowsmith’s letter, dated September 22, East Thames carried out repairs in the flat above, where bathwater was found to be leaking down. But it still seeps through.

“We understand the frustration that this situation has caused Ms Watkins and continue to act quickly to resolve it,” said a spokeswoman for East Thames’ parent company, London and Quadrant.

She said the pipe in the living room was for water not, as previously reported, soil waste.

The leak, “a straightforward two-day repair”, the spokeswoman added, remains unfixed as “we have been unable to gain access to the property to carry out the works”.

In response, Ayshea said the company was “chatting rubbish”.

“The only time they called was for access to trace the source of the leak. They’ve been to the flat [above] and done her repairs but I’ve had nothing.”

Her solicitors are now involved.

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