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Thousands on Isle of Dogs in TV blackout following workers' row

PUBLISHED: 15:17 04 August 2011 | UPDATED: 16:01 04 August 2011

Peter Beresford, 72, is one of the Ballin Court residents left without TV for the weekend

Peter Beresford, 72, is one of the Ballin Court residents left without TV for the weekend

Archant

»Thousands of homes on four estates have been without TV for almost a week after bitter engineers seized transmitters in a dispute over pay.

Furious residents are now demanding compensation for the blackout, which has struck 55 blocks in the Samuda, Kingsbridge, St John’s and Barkantine estates on the Isle of Dogs.

Hundreds of tenants have complained to management group Island Homes but it insists the row is between subcontractors and says it has enlisted a new team to restore services.

‘Extremely let down’

Up to 2,000 properties have been without any channels since Saturday and have been warned that services may not resume until the end of the week.

Peter Beresford, 72, who lives in one of the affected blocks, Ballin Court, said he and his neighbours feel extremely let down.

He added: “One of my neighbours was told by a contractor they were owed a lot of money and hadn’t been paid so they were taking the equipment. It took them two minutes to do it but Island Homes still can’t fix it.

“Everyone’s doing their nut. It’s got nothing to do with us but we still have to pay for our TV licences.”

Blackwall and Cubitt Town councillor, Peter Golds, said he has been told it could take some time before the service is restored.

“A lot of the residents are older and isolated and they rely on their TV,” he said

Island Homes has lodged a complaint with the police.

It said that, as it owns the equipment, it is planning to take legal action.

A spokesman said: “The problem has arisen because a sub-contractor, who was employed to fit the TV transmitters, is currently in a payment dispute with another sub-contractor.

“The process of fitting the equipment is complex and whilst the engineers will work as quickly as possible and into the evenings, it will take a few days to get the new equipment fitted.”

Tower Hamlets Police said: “A letter has been sent to the borough commander making an allegation of theft. The issue is under consideration.”

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