Wigan Council under fire over mould in borough homes

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Wigan town hall bosses have defended their record on tackling complaints over mould and damp on a Leigh council housing estate – home to nearly 3,000 residents.

They have responded after a 21-year-old resident said he believed that concerns he had raised with Wigan Council over mould in his flat on the Higher Folds estate were being ignored.

That complaint triggered a further response from a resident of the estate who claimed there was a “widespread problem” of damp and mould in many of the properties on the estate.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, when the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) visited the properties he listed, the issues had been, or were being, dealt with.

General view of homes on the Higher Folds estate in LeighGeneral view of homes on the Higher Folds estate in Leigh
General view of homes on the Higher Folds estate in Leigh
Read More
Owners of long-derelict Wigan pub seek partners to give it a new lease of life

As reported earlier this month jobless Ryan Clorley said he had made repeated complaints over mould on the walls of the bedroom and bathroom as well as on the doors and curtains of the home on Sunningdale Grove.

That prompted James Morley of Balmoral Drive, Higher Folds, to get in touch. Mr Morley has stood unsuccessfully four times as an Independent candidate for the local authority.

He said he has worked alongside former Conservative councillor Edward Houlton to highlight damp and mould problems at Higher Folds. Mr Houlton lost his seat on Wigan Council in the 2022 local elections.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Houlton said: “For at least a year, I went down there (to Higher Folds) every Friday and saw between five and 10 houses at a time where the mould was atrocious [this is about one and a half years ago].

“There are houses and flats there with babies in them and there’s black mould all over the walls.

“I don’t know whether it’s a design fault in those properties. Some of it is probably people not ventilating their homes. When I was a councillor I spent months trying to get Wigan Council to do something about it.”

Mr Morley gave the LDRS three more addresses where mould has been an issue – in Royal Drive, Kensington Drive and Crown Grove.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But when we visited these properties, the residents said work had been undertaken to deal with the problems, including the application of antifungal paint.

Responding to the concerns, a spokesperson for Wigan Council said the authority is “committed to providing our tenants with homes that are warm, healthy, and free from damp, mould, and condensation.”

They added: “We always take reports of these issues very seriously. Over the last 18 months we have made great progress in tackling cases of damp and mould and have introduced a task force group dedicated to delivering an action plan and implementing recommendations from the public inquiry.

“We’ve made it easier for tenants to report issues and have established a referral process for professionals.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Every report we receive is logged, acted upon and followed up, with cases posing the highest risk prioritised. In addition to resolving immediate issues, we’re committed to tackling the root causes of damp and mould with routine follow-up inspections to ensure the effectiveness of treatment.”

Mould in homes has been much higher on the political agenda in recent years following the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak, following exposure to it at his Rochdale home in 2020.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.