A MUM and her young children have been forced to spend Christmas in an appalling mould-ridden flat because of a "never-ending" battle with the council.
Imogen Page, 28, has been pleading with Kingston Council to move her into a house with a garden for her two-year-old autistic daughter – but they seemingly "just don't give a damn."
The 28-year-old has been fighting to move out of the awful flat in South London since April 2020 – but her council have done "nothing" to help despite her desperate pleas.
Her council flat is ridden with mould and silverfish, and her walls constantly leak from the damp – which one councillor from Kingston described as not suitable for DOGS to live in.
And now the young family are being forced to spend Christmas in the awful mouldy flat because the council have failed to rehome the family.
The mum-of-two said she was told they would move her out of the dire flat in January 2020 – but the promise was never fulfilled, we revealed earlier this year.
They then said they would move her out of the sordid environment temporarily while works were underway, but that is also yet to happen.
Now the mum now says she needs a council home with a garden for her daughter and a permanent move out of the appalling flat – which has caused her insurmountable stress over the last two years.
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The mum-of-two revealed that her youngest daughter Bonnie-Lee, who is non-verbal and has autism, has been rushed to hospital five times in the last year with respiratory problems.
The tot, two, coughs to the point that she can't breathe and has needed an ambulance sent to the home – thought to be caused by the appalling damp and mould.
All her mum asks is that she gets a mould-free place with an outdoor area for little Bonnie-Lee to keep "calm and relaxed" in after a two-year battle with the council.
Speaking to The Sun Online, the 28-year-old said: "The mould is coming back in my front room so badly.
"I’m very confused, as moving me out temporarily will not only be costly for myself, but also very unsettling for my children. None of this is fair.
"My youngest needs a garden. I know it sounds silly, but she enjoys the outdoors and it keeps her calm and relaxed.
"I need a permanent move to a new property. It would be so unsettling for my youngest daughter."
Imogen's nine-year-old daughter Teresa who has a heart murmur also suffers from serious coughs, which she also believes is a result of the horrific mouldy home.
Imogen says she's nearly lost everything because of the horror mould – and all she wants is for the council to listen and move her out of the "depressing" flat.
Speaking about the living situation, Imogen said earlier this year: "I have mould in every single room except my kitchen. There is no wall in my bathroom that doesn't have mould on it.
"It's never-ending in this flat. When I get my clothes out, they stink of mould. My walls are constantly cold and wet.
"My walls are leaking. You could see there are dripping marks. I just don't want to live here anymore, it's making me so depressed."
The situation has got so bad that the mum-of-two doesn't want to come back to her home when she leaves – and her daughter is embarrassed to bring her friends around after school.
Imogen added: "I have silverfish everywhere. I can't even have flooring in my bedroom or my girls' room because the mould over it will just ruin it.
"My bedroom is terrible. I have to sleep on top of all of the mould. I slept in my front room on a mattress for weeks."
Single mum Imogen said that she has been "through hell and back" with Kingston Council, and one representative agreed that the council seemed to "not give a damn."
She said: "They told me there were going to move me out in January but they didn't do that. I packed everything up in boxes and they're still sitting in my hallway.
"I went through my boxes and my daughter's clothes, my pots and pans, they're all covered in mould. I've lost a chest of drawers and my sofa because of the mould. It's all over my radiator covers.
"It feels like they (the council) are against me. I just want them to move me out."
Ian George, Conservative Councillor for Coombe Hill ward, said: "It’s a disgrace that LibDem-run Kingston Council still haven’t arranged for Imogen Page and her two young children to be moved into a flat that is suitable and safe for them to live in.
"When The Sun first covered the story, there was anger from councillors that their failings had been made public.
"But once the negative publicity died down, the LibDem Councillors have immediately returned to their previous stance of not giving a damn.
"I understand that there are plans for a contractor to eventually attend the flat and carry out some tests. And that the lady and her two children will be asked to leave, then return, then possibly leave and return again if any work is required.
"The Council has refused to advise whether these are the same contractors who have been unsuccessful in sorting the damp over the last couple of years.
"It would be good to have some explanation, why they think the outcome will be positive this time, when they’ve failed for more than two years."
The Cllr said that it's understandable that Ms Page is thinking of her two children, "who have suffered in the flat for a very long time."
Speaking about the need for her to move into a new permanent home, the Cllr added: "After everything that has gone on with this particular flat, over the last two years, Ms Page will no doubt be concerned at the stressful and negative effect on her two children of various ‘temporary moves’ from their home.
"I can certainly see why Ms Page does not want to risk putting her children through more of the same.
"I find it hard to understand why a permanent move out of the flat is not being arranged in this instance.
'DON'T GIVE A DAMN'
"This would allow Kingston Council to work on the problem without unduly stressing the children and give the family a chance to live somewhere that they can be happy, and confident of living without stress and negative impacts to health."
Mr George added that he thinks it's "appalling" that Imogen and her children have to spend another Christmas in the awful conditions.
He also said that his own calls to get them into another home have been ignored – and the council should apologise and "just make it happen."
"As one of the Conservative ward councillors, I have formally requested that Ms Page and her children be moved to another suitable home in the borough.
"However, once again I have been ignored. Kingston Council should apologise to this family and just make it happen.
"I can’t believe that they will be forced to stay in that flat for yet another Christmas, it’s appalling."
A Kingston Council spokesperson said: “The council has been in regular contact with Ms Paige’s legal advisors on the scope of works required to remedy the damp and condensation in her flat.
"We are waiting to hear if this has been agreed, so that we can begin carrying out this necessary work.
“The council has made an offer of suitable alternative accommodation on a temporary basis to allow investigation works to go ahead.
"The temporary accommodation is likely to be ready in January, and is made under a licence arrangement to Ms Paige. The Council will pay for the costs of removals.
“We understand that the current circumstances for Ms Paige and her family are very difficult so we have looked at all other options for a temporary move.
"We will be in touch with Ms Paige and her legal team to discuss a different property that is more immediately available.
“We continue to work closely with Ms Paige on this issue and are trying to resolve matters as quickly as possible.”
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