Flood victims’ anger at company’s response

Pauline Lowe, right, with other flood victims who live in flats at Brockhurst Walk, Worsley Mesnes, Wigan, are angry and upset as they feel the landlords and property owners are not willing to help them
Pauline Lowe, right, with other flood victims who live in flats at Brockhurst Walk, Worsley Mesnes, Wigan, are angry and upset as they feel the landlords and property owners are not willing to help them

A GROUP of residents who were forced out of their homes by the Boxing Day floods are angry at their property company’s slow response.

A GROUP of residents who were forced out of their homes by the Boxing Day floods are angry at their property company’s slow response.

Seven flats on Brockhurst Walk in Worsley Mesnes were evacuated on Saturday after the Smithy Brook which runs behind the property overflowed and flooded the ground floor flats.

The residents have been put up in the Premier Inn in Wigan but they say the response from Guinness Partnership, who manages the building, has been slow and they are struggling to find out information from them.

Some of the residents, many of whom are elderly or suffering from health problems, have been forced to return to their damp and damaged properties everyday since the floods and wait around for workmen to turn up.

As a result, many have started to feel unwell from standing in the cold and wet for hours so they can be on site for when Guinness representatives turn up.

After about an hour we gave up and left. The water was up to our knees outside

Pauline Lowe

Gas and electricity has been restored to most of the properties but the worst hit are still without power or heat.

The residents also say the company has only provided skips today, when many of them have already begun clearing out their properties.

Pauline Lowe, 56, who lives in one of the flats with her husband Matthew, said: “We were sat in the living room and we could see the water building up. I thought we are going to get flooded here.

“Sure enough the water started coming in. We grabbed everything we could and put it up on the sofas and began trying to keep the water back.

“After about an hour we gave up and left. The water was up to our knees outside.”

Pauline, who suffers from osteoarthritis, has been staying at the hotel since but is angry at the lack of information they are being given by Guinness. “I have lived here eight years and this is the fourth time it’s flooded,” she said.

“We used to have an area manager who was very helpful when it flooded but now all we can do is call a customer service line and they can only tell us what they are authorised to.

“They have built a flood defence out the back but it is all blocked up because no one has cleaned it out. We were told we would get breakfast at the hotel free but no one mentioned if we kept our receipts we could claim back for the rest of our food.

“Each day we are told to be here for 8am, Monday it was for the gas and electricity, Tuesday for them to bring dehumidifiers and Wednesday for them to bring skips and help clear the flats out.

“But some of the residents are elderly and others have mobility issues and it is so much coming backwards and forwards. I am fed up of standing here in the cold and the damp all day waiting for them.

“I am at the end of my tether with them and I am quickly losing the will to live.”

Many of the residents do not have contents insurance as the flats are in a high risk flood area, something the newer residents say they were not told when they moved in.