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Opinion: Romford MP Andrew Rosindell sympathises with Bridge Point tenants

PUBLISHED: 09:58 20 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:58 20 February 2017

Archant

Blast raises issues about troublesome tenants

First of all, I would like to express my sympathies to the Hornchurch residents who were affected by the Bridge Point explosion on January 23.

They have undergone extremely challenging conditions since the incident. These residents, however, have suffered an unnecessary degree of miscommunication and mishandling by Swan Housing Association.

I met with several tenants and former tenants of the Bridge Point flats who were extremely upset their voices were not being heard. It soon became clear to me that anti-social behaviour and drugs activity had existed for some time at the housing block.

I have since had a meeting with Swan Housing who assured me they have learned from the incident, firstly in their communication to local authorities and public officials, and secondly through the management and reassurance placed to those in need during a crisis.

In spite of this distress, I saw a lot of admirable behaviour as we often witness in times of trouble.

I must highlight the community support group and fundraising page set up by Sarah Browne, Nina Stiffel, Amanda Sena and Charlotte Fitch who kindly offered the use of Ardleigh House.

Their assistance along with many others from the general public to Tesco Airfield Way/Gallows Corner helped to donate furniture, food/drink, clothes, homeware and toiletries.

Samaritan, Lianne Gordon, and counsellor, Peter Phelps, were also on hand to help the residents where needed, providing the perfect example of a local community coming together in a time of need.

The incident has highlighted a major issue; anti-social behaviour and illegal activities within residential areas which makes life for law-abiding neighbours a misery.

Swan Housing confirmed to me that legal proceedings were already in place concerning a particular property before the incident. However it is clear to me the framework and legal wrangling to remove a felonious and troublesome tenant is far too slow and bound in much red tape.

With this in mind, I will be highlighting this issue with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

For those who wish to help, please visit the #BridgePoint Go Fund Me page.

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