‘This is an invasion of privacy’ - man’s anger over council repairs which left him with no curtains

Chris Newark in Harfreys Road is upset about council delays to building work on his rented property

Chris Newark in Harfreys Road is upset about council delays to building work on his rented property Photo: Liz Coates - Credit: Archant

A Gorleston man has rounded on the council for delays in repairs that have left him without curtains and “vulnerable” for nearly a month.

Chris Newark says his problems started in February when he reported a crack above the window in his Harfrey’s Road home.

Delays, setbacks and no-shows have hampered progress, he says.

And now workmen have “downed tools” because of asbestos although he says the property has already been surveyed and declared safe.

Mr Newark, who suffers with COPD and vertigo and is registered disabled said he was fed up with the exposed brick wall and especially the lack of curtains after they took the baton down.

“This is an invasion of privacy in my opinion,” he said

“I feel vulnerable because everyone can see what we have got.

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“Someone was going to come and put the curtain rail back up but they phoned and said they could not do it.”

The 57-year-old and his wife who also suffers health problems has lived in the home for 17 years.

“I thought they only needed to plaster over the crack,” he added. “They did the stairwell with no problems. Now it’s all in one hell of a mess.

“They reckon there is asbestos there but it has already been checked and it is clear. One bloke came and said they could not do it because it’s a two-man job.”

Mr Newark said the stress of having to go back to the council was taking its toll. “They are getting slower,” he said, adding there had been progress with improvements upstairs in the house.

In a statement, Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: “When carrying out repairs to council homes, GYN, the council’s repairs provider, will consider any risks involved in undertaking the work.

“In some cases it is necessary to test a work area for the presence of asbestos. If the test proves positive then the affected area can only be removed by a specialist contractor.

“Sometimes fixtures and fittings need to be removed temporarily to facilitate removal of the material and completion of repairs. “Only when all the potentially affected area has been removed can the repairs be completed.

“GYN keep tenants informed of progress and aim to complete works as quickly as possible.”