Mayor of Bristol tells residents of problem housing block: 'You're not forgotten'

  • Watch Max Walsh's report

The Mayor of Bristol has directly addressed residents living in a sheltered housing block in Hartcliffe to insist they're not forgotten, despite repeated delays to improve their living conditions.

Walwyn Gardens in Hartcliffe has been plagued by issues for months with reports of damp, mould, leaking appliances, freezing temperatures and, at one stage, even rats.

There are 27 flats at the housing block mainly for people aged over 70.

Work to refurbish the block was due to start last year but it has been repeatedly delayed. The city council says it is now rescheduled for August.

In his fortnightly press conference, Marvin Rees recorded a direct message to the residents.

He said: “You’re not forgotten and we recognise that things haven’t been as good as they should have been and rest assured that the conversations are happening in this organisation to make sure people get the service they need and deserve.”

Watching the recorded message, residents Dave Radford, 73, and Jackie Birdman, 79, say they are still sceptical that work will begin on time in August.

Jackie said: "We are forgotten. It's been dragging on too long. It's being going on since 2018. It was supposed to start this year, that year. It's not going to start. None of us have any confidence in him anymore."

Dave said: "I'm very sceptical. It's taken so long it's unbelievable. He hasn't convinced me."

Plans show how Walwyn Gardens will change. Credit: Bristol City Council

The council has released plans of how the block will look once the work is complete over the summer. It will include new roofs, staircases, walkways and insulation, a new laundry room and a community room. But they are still waiting for a suitable bid from constructors.

The Mayor says he will make sure the work goes ahead in August.

Marvin Rees said: "I’m not happy of any situation in which people are not getting the service from Bristol City Council that they should be getting. There are areas within the organisation that need improving.

“We recognise the frustration of residents. The scheme will come through and my team will make sure that it comes through and people get the homes that they deserve."

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