THE Grays community is being urged to have its say on whether a series of high rise flats should be demolished or not.

Thurrock Council has confirmed it will consult on the future of Blackshots high rise flats following concerns from councillors and residents.

Blackshots councillors Ben Maney and Joy Redsell have consistently stated that they believe the three blocks amount to substandard housing and are beyond refurbishment, so therefore should go.

The pair have steadfastly campaigned for Keir Hardie House, Morrison House and Bevan House to be demolished and existing tenants rehoused.

Thurrock Council has now written to residents living in all three blocks and is seeking their views on future options.

This includes whether the blocks should be refurbished or demolished and replaced with new lower level housing.

Mr Maney said: “I have never wavered in my view that the three high rise blocks in Blackshots are no longer fit for purpose and should be brought down. Conditions in many individual flats are appalling with mould and damp being rife. I have never in 20 years of being a Blackshots councillor found a single resident of the flats who likes living in them.

“I have also asked the council to extend the consultation to residents of the wider area. Those living in the shadow of these monstrosities should also have a say on what they think should happen.

“As ward councillors our position is clear, we want the three blocks consigned to history.”

As part of the process, the council will be holding a public engagement event on November 2.

Ms Redsell added: “I know that too many residents of the flats will be dreading the arrival of another winter.

“Not a year passes when we do not hear from those who just cannot keep their properties warm due to ageing heating systems and poor insulation.

“With this comes damp and mould which in turn leaves some tenants fearing for their health. We are encouraging everyone to respond to the council’s consultation.

“As councillors will go on making the case for the blocks’ demolition, but will make sure that all residents’ views are heard.