Local people have given a cautious welcome to the city council’s announcement that they will be seeking further compensation from Keepmoat, the contractors in charge of the building work at Wilmcote House in north Somerstown, Portsmouth.
The news broke after Labour’s housing spokesperson and local ward representative, Cllr Stephen Morgan worked with residents to help address local concerns. Since Christmas Cllr Morgan has hosted two residents’ meetings to allow people to air their grievances and have their say. In a story titled ‘Fury as renovation delays leave Portsmouth residents living in a nightmare’ in The News on 9 August 2016, the council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Steve Weymss agreed with Cllr Morgan and recognised that the delays and disruption are having a negative impact on residents’ lives. Cllr Weymss has now committed to enforcing the terms of the contract which could release many thousands of pounds, some of which could be used to compensate tenants for the inconvenience they have been caused.
Work on the redevelopment of the properties started back in December 2013. The scheme has been plagued with problems throughout the project leaving
residents increasingly dismayed by the setbacks. News has also broken of further delays to the building works with work on the first block, due to have been completed in May 2016, still outstanding, and the overall scheme pushed back again from January 2017 to later spring of next year.
On hearing the Council’s announcement, Wilmcote House resident Chris Evans said:
“I am assured the council’s administration is finally listening. This redevelopment’s been a nightmare for three years. The whole thing’s a joke. I hope this isn’t just warm words and that we see a better compensation scheme and the decent rent rebate that residents deserve for all the disruption we’ve suffered. Meetings must continue with regular progress reports to the tenants from Keepmoat and better communications put in place. The contractors owe us that much at least”.
Cllr Stephen Morgan added:
“Solutions need to be found to finally resolve the problems residents have faced with the ongoing building work. I’ve heard too many horror stories.
Residents feel let down by this project and rightly deserve action. The council and contractors need to crack on and get this project back on track. I am happy to work with the council’s administration to make sure this happens”.
For more information contact Cllr Stephen Morgan
Deputy Leader of the Labour Group | Charles Dickens ward councillor
http://www.stephenjmorgan.org | 073 9800 6935