THURROCK Council has been accused of squandering thousands of pounds on failed attempts to fix a leaky roof which is making shopkeepers’ lives a misery.
Retailers in Canterbury Parade, South Ockendon, have been putting up with water leaking into their shops for three years and are finally at the end of their tether.
They claim the council’s failure to fix the roof is costing them time and money, while ward councillor Lynn Carr claims the council’s botched job of fixing the roof has meant thousands of pounds wasted.
Christine Chaplin, owner of Christine’s Barber Shop, said: “I complained about water coming through the ceiling and running down the walls.
“The council sent out numerous people who took pictures, but nobody really sorted it out.
“They eventually decided to put a new roof on and at great expense they took all the tiles off and put new felt on. It hasn’t stopped the leaks.”
Christine had to pay £700 for scaffolding while her building was repainted.
The council compensated her by paying for the walls to be plastered, but she lost out on more money when damage caused by the leak caused her to have to close the shop.
She added: “I lost a day of work because one of the leaks blew the electrics. It was a fire hazard.”
Nilesh Patel, owner of Parade News, is also frustrated that the businesses are being put at risk.
He said: “All of the time there is a problem.
“The ceiling has broken and the top of the fridge got wet, but I can’t put a bag over it because it will get hot.
“Nobody came from the council to see me. It is important for somebody to come and see.”
Tory Cllr Carr told the Gazette: “There’s an obvious problem here.
“It took them two-and-a-half years to replace the roof and still there’s a problem.
“Thousands of pounds have been thrown at this.
“Those shopkeepers have suffered despite paying their rents.”