Children rushed to hospital from Slough tower block where ‘hundreds’ housed by Redbridge Council

A baby and a toddler were rushed to hospital after a flat was sprayed for bedbugs in a Slough tower block used to house people from Redbridge.

The children became ‘seriously unwell’ the day after they moved back into their flat at The Grand Heights on Hatfield Road.

Redbridge Council says it has been told that the illness was not linked to the bedbug treatment, but the incident has raised concerns amongst other families living away from their borough.

Janelle Clarke, mother of two other children housed at Grand Heights by Redbridge, said nobody from the east London council had been to visit following the incident.

She told the LDRS: “Redbridge Council has not even come. We haven’t seen anybody. The police came and checked on us to make sure that we are okay. But no one else came to reassure us that the place is safe.”

Ms Clarke says she believes as many as 600 people have been housed in Grand Heights temporarily by Redbridge and Tower Hamlets councils.

The two councils are responsible for housing those residents as part of their duty to prevent eligible people in their boroughs becoming homeless. Redbridge says that a ‘severe housing crisis’ means its had to find people places to live outside the capital.

But Janelle said she’s worried that Grand Heights is unsuitable for her family and others. She says rooms are small and poorly ventilated – and far away from her children’s school in north west London.

She said: “The rooms are small and the window space is limited so there’s not enough ventilation – I have been saying this for months.

“We have 600 tenants here from Redbridge and Tower Hamlets. We have mothers with children with special educational needs and survivors of domestic abuse. We’ve had no housing officer come to see us – they’ve just dumped us here.”

A spokesperson for Redbridge Council told the LDRS the housing crisis had ‘forced us to rely on temporary accommodation, much of which is outside London’. But added the authority is now reviewing whether Grand Heights is suitable for Janelle.

The spokesperson said: “We fully sympathise with Ms Clarke and her living situation. We are currently conducting a review of Ms Clarke’s accommodation in Slough.”

Grand Heights’ building manager said management and the pest control company had been cleared of any wrongdoing over the child’s illness. The government’s Health and Safety Executive told the LDRS it is aware of the incident and is making enquiries.

A spokesperson for Slough Borough Council said it is aware of concerns at Grand Heights but added: “As a council we don’t use that building for accommodation. Individuals placed there by other councils should raise any issues with them, as their housing provider.”

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