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Mould investigation brought forward after Ipswich tenant’s hospital stay

PUBLISHED: 21:51 04 June 2015 | UPDATED: 21:51 04 June 2015

Ben Watts, 26, has lived in a council flat in Bader Close for a year and a half and has been in hospital three times with pneumonia and chest infections. Pictured with girlfriend Lisa Rackham.

Ben Watts, 26, has lived in a council flat in Bader Close for a year and a half and has been in hospital three times with pneumonia and chest infections. Pictured with girlfriend Lisa Rackham.

An investigation into the extent of a mould problem in a council flat has been brought forward after the tenant spent time in hospital.

Ben Watts, 26, at his council flat in Bader Close.Ben Watts, 26, at his council flat in Bader Close.

Ben Watts, 26, moved into Bader Close, Ipswich a year and a half ago and since then he said he has been treated twice for pneumonia and once for a chest infection.

Mr Watts, who lives with his 23-year-old girlfriend, Lisa Rackham, said he had contacted Ipswich Borough Council three times since May to complain about damp.

In response to the calls, he said he had been issued with advice on how to control the damp, like opening the windows and keeping the heating on.

As the problem continued, Mr Watts said he brought the issue up with his housing officer three weeks ago during a visit, and an inspection was booked for July 17.

Mr Watts is currently waiting for a kidney transplant and is on dialysis three times a week and as a result has a poor immune system.

Relying on a carer to help him with his day-to-day chores, he said he found it difficult to manage the mould.

“At the moment we are on a mattress on the floor in the living room because our bed went mouldy and the slates went rotten so we had to throw it away,” he said.

“There’s half an inch of mould behind the bath but I can’t clean it because I’m too ill and as soon as you start touching it the spores go in the air.”

Moving to Ipswich from Bungay to be closer to his son, Tyler, Mr Watts said the five-year-old had not been able to come to the flat for three months because of the damp.

If the problem is not resolved soon, Mr Watts said he feared he would end up in hospital again.

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: “As soon as we were aware of the issue we have been trying to rearrange a visit from an investigation officer. We are now going to Ben’s flat next week.”


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