Mother-of-three claims council flat is 'infested with cockroaches'

A photo taken by Shanel Howard in the flat where she has been housed

A photo taken by Shanel Howard in the flat where she has been housed

First published in News Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A mother claims her children are becoming ill after the family moved into a flat that is ‘infested with cockroaches’.

Shanel Howard, who lost her home when she lost her job earlier this year, was forced to move her family 12 miles away after Hertsmere Borough Council couldn’t find her a house in Borehamwood.

The mother-of-three says her three-bedroom flat in Turnpike Lane is infested with mice and cockroaches - despite the council insisting no evidence of an infestation has been found.

Councillor Ann Harrison raised Miss Howard’s situation at a recent full council meeting.

Cllr Seamus Quilty replied: “All our temporary accommodation is inspected regularly and is found to be of good standard.

“We have investigated this case and have spoken at length with the pest control officer who attended. He said he found nothing in terms of cockroach debris, egg sacks or skin in his search and no mouse droppings. He has left bait gel there in case and will arrange to go back.”

The council has offered alternative accommodation to the household on four occasions but Miss Howard claims these are even further away from Borehamwood, and that two of them were not big enough for a family of five.

She said: “We have been taken out of the area that my partner grew up in, where he has been a member of the Borehamwood community for 38 years. Our children are at school here and we have many commitments here. My son cries everyday and my step daughter is very depressed at being away from her friends.

“All we want is to get back into our home town and my partner’s birthplace.”

She added that the condition of the flat, which is above a chicken shop and is regularly blocked by overflowing rubbish, is making her children, aged 16, five, and ten months, ill.

The council's pest control officers visited yesterday and treated the flat.

A Hertsmere Council spokeswoman said this was the first time officers had been able to fumigate the property as the family had been keeping cats on the premises.

Comments (3)

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1:27am Thu 31 Jul 14

poshiesymons says...

awaiting all the comments putting down anyone who doesnt buy there own house or needs social housing or has more than one child is unemployed or is not a supporter of tories or ukip or is poor etc .
awaiting all the comments putting down anyone who doesnt buy there own house or needs social housing or has more than one child is unemployed or is not a supporter of tories or ukip or is poor etc . poshiesymons
  • Score: -11

4:55pm Sat 2 Aug 14

Unsullied says...

poshiesymons have you thought about maybe getting a life?
poshiesymons have you thought about maybe getting a life? Unsullied
  • Score: -2

10:09pm Sat 2 Aug 14

poshiesymons says...

i have got a life , the point i was trying to make with my previous comment is that the majority of the time on stories like these , people comment things like " they should buy their own property instead of sponging" or " i bet shes on the dole " etc and other negative comments aimed at anyone unfortunate enough to be in need, instead of positive helpful comments or comments of support.
i have got a life , the point i was trying to make with my previous comment is that the majority of the time on stories like these , people comment things like " they should buy their own property instead of sponging" or " i bet shes on the dole " etc and other negative comments aimed at anyone unfortunate enough to be in need, instead of positive helpful comments or comments of support. poshiesymons
  • Score: 3

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