'Plain to see we need new windows' Bethnal Green tenants tell Tower Hamlets council
PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 August 2016 | UPDATED: 23:26 31 August 2016
Families who have been refused double glazing in their council flats in London’s East End have accused the Town Hall of lacking ‘transparency’ for just repainting their old windows instead.
Hundreds of tenants have sent a petition to Tower Hamlets Council calling for the windows in their ageing five-story blocks in Bethnal Green to be replaced before winter sets in.
Scaffolding has been up for weeks for general improvements—but now they’ve been told the double-glazing doesn’t conform to the character of the neighbourhood.
So the old windows along Corfield Street are having fresh putty put in and the flaking frames repainted.
“The council promised us new windows,” petition organiser Tahir Ali tells tomorrow’s East London Advertiser. “Then they changed their minds and said they would only repair the old ones because planning permission was refused, even though they are the planning authority.”
The families complain of draughts which they point out won’t be fixed with “a bit of putty”, while similar blocks in neighbouring Willmot Street had double-glazing fitted two years ago.
Neighbour Katie Adams said: “The council told us new windows would be too modern because they are PVC and would be out of character.
“They just want to do a ‘paint’ job on our rotting windows which are draughty. We are being fobbed off.”
Double glazing would be better insulation and mean using less energy for heating, the tenants point out.
The council has gone ahead repairing one window on the ground floor as a “show piece” of what a splash of paint can do. But there is still a draught problem, the tenants insist.
The council has promised to look into “solutions that could meet planning conservation with improved windows”.
It is to meet tenants for a meeting at a nearby community centre in Bethnal Green Road next Thursday evening (Sept 8), to crack the window dispute.