£120k spent refurbishing mental health home being shut down by council
PUBLISHED: 16:15 18 July 2013 | UPDATED: 16:15 18 July 2013
A supported accommodation complex due to be shut down by Redbridge Council this year has undergone refurbishment work costing over £120,000, it has emerged.
Abury House, in Aldborough Road North, which has nine purpose-built supported flats, is due to close this summer.
A freedom of information request revealed that the council more than £29,000 was spent replacing the roof in 2006.
A further £12,000 was spent in 2002 installing capsule kitchens in each bedsit and bathrooms were refurbished in 1998 at a price of £6,150.
The largest cost, of £64,594, was for maintenance works and health and safety improvements between 1998 and this year.
Ron Jeffries, who said he had met many Abury House residents in his years living in nearby Spearpoint Gardens, called it a “valuable community asset”.
He added: “I find it tragic that, having spent a large sum of taxpayers money, the building is no longer to be used for its present purpose and will in all probability be sold off.”
A council spokesman said options for the building are “currently under discussion”.
She added: “The council has a duty to ensure that their property assets are kept at a reasonable standard.
“Money has had to be spent on Abury House as it is a large older property and as such requires a significant amount of on-going maintenance to keep it up to standard.
“This is not seen as an unreasonable amount to spend on a property that has had a significant number of people moving in and out over the years which adds to the wear and tear of the property.”
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