South Cerney sheltered housing residents "abandoned" in floods
"WE FEEL abandoned" has been the message among elderly and vulnerable people in South Cerney who have been living in fear of raw sewage spilling into their homes for the past fortnight.
For some of the residents of sheltered accommodation on Boxbush Road in South Cerney, having a shower, flushing the toilet and running the tap has not been an option since before Christmas.
After another heavy downpour, the Bromford Housing Association tenants watched on in horror as their garden drains overflowed with sewage water and their homes were at risk of waste coming up through their bath tubs and sinks.
Despite many residents being elderly, they told the Standard last week that they had received little support from Bromford and no support from Thames Water, which both organisations deny.
Boxbush Road resident Sheila Evans, 71, said: "You can smell it coming up. I’ve phoned Thames Water several times and every time they’ve said we will get someone there in a couple of hours but nobody arrived. We’re just sick of it all – it’s diabolical how we’ve been treated."
"We feel abandoned," 83-year-old neighbour Don Muttitt added. "It’s been like camping in the 1940s for nearly two weeks now."
Thames Water said engineers had been out to South Cerney every day since Christmas Eve, but they could do nothing to help until water levels had receded.
However, following the Standard’s enquiries last Thursday, Thames Water officers visited and spoke to residents and discovered a drain blockage at the properties which it has pledged to fix.
In another part of Boxbush Road, homes still have water lapping at the front doors and some have damp coming up through the floorboards.
Bromford said the housing association had been in constant contact with residents since Christmas Eve, had ensured sandbags were distributed and had offered emergency accommodation to residents at the local Four Pillars Hotel.
A spokesman said: "The majority chose to stay put and so we have made the Bromford Community Hub available to them. This includes laundry facilities, toilets, a kitchen and a communal lounge.
"Flooding from the River Churn is becoming a more common occurrence and so we will be meeting with Council officials and Thames Water urgently to ensure Boxbush Road is protected in the future and that our residents do not face this situation again."