Ledbury Estate tenants and supporters demonstrated on Sunday 17th Sept after several days with no heating. Ledbury Estate flats in Southwark have been declared unsafe due to cracks in the 13 storey towerblocks, which the tenants have been protesting about for years, and Southwark Council has told the tenants they will need to be decanted so the blocks can be repaired. The cracks are big enough to see daylight through and are a fire risk as well as a risk to the integrity of the building. The gas has been cut off as a safety measure forcing tenants to go to shower in a nearby leisure centre and their only cooking facilities are small two-ring mini cookers. Now with the onset of colder autumn weather there is no heating for the tenants at all as the electrical power supply cannot cope with high load so no fan heaters or plug in radiators are permitted. One block has already had an overnight total power failure.
Ledbury Estate is built to the same design as Ronan Point, a tower block in Canning Town that collapsed due to a gas explosion in 1968 killing 4 people. Blocks of this design should not have gas heating fitted at all. Other blocks with similar design including Lethbridge House (Lewisham) and Broadwater Farm (Haringey) have had extra safety tests.
The tenants have complained that they are not being given clear information by the council and are very concerned about right to return to their flats if they move out for repairs to be carried out.
Ledbury tenants have called another demonstration for the coming Sunday at 3pm outside the Community Centre, Pencraig Way, SE15 1SH.