Residents of plastic-wrapped homes find it 'impossible to live in' during heatwave

St Francis Tower block Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

ST Francis Tower is wrapped in plastic which keeps temperatures up. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Residents of St Francis Tower in Ipswich have been suffering even more than most in the current hot spell with their homes wrapped in plastic and temperatures rising rapidly.

Jamie Lindon is a member of the Ipswich Cladiators and like many of his fellow residents has been trying to stay away from home as long as possible during the heatwave.

He said: "Many people stay away until late in the evening because it is just unbearable with the plastic sheeting up - it is impossible to live in the flats.

"They started work on this during the spring of last year so this is our second summer of living like this. We're told it might be finished at the end of the year but then sometimes we're told it will not come down until April next year.

"It just isn't good enough for people living here."

The plastic sheeting is covering St Francis Tower while potentially flammable cladding is removed - the concerns follow the Grenfell  Tower tragedy five years ago.

The co-ordinator of the Ipswich Cladiators group Alex Dickin lives in Cardinal Lofts where work to replace cladding has not yet started. But he had heard from many of his group in St Francis Court who were worried.

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He said: "Most of those flats are occupied  by tenants and  they are just totally stuck.

"The conditions are very bad there and what makes things worse is that people aren't able to open their windows very far because there are metal bars - so you can't get air going through."

Mr Dickin said his group had hoped there could be  more progress after the problems were highlighted to government housing minister Lord Greenhalgh during a visit with Ipswich MP Tom Hunt in April.

Four people, including Lord Greenhalgh and Tom Hunt, at a meeting about cladding with residents

Lord Greenhalgh and MP for Ipswich Tom Hunt with residents of St Francis Tower and cladding campaigners - Credit: Tom Hunt

"He said he could understand the problems and this was one of the worst issues he had seen so we were very hopeful something more might happen.

"But last week Lord Greenhalgh was one of the ministers who resigned so there's no one in the department now who knows about us - we're back at the start again!"