Family fear for their health in mouldy council flat

Colin Thomson pointing to the mould in the hall. Picture: Scott Louden
Colin Thomson pointing to the mould in the hall. Picture: Scott Louden

A young family are angry with the council for failing to eradicate a damp problem in their flat which they fear is affecting their health.

Colin Thomson (23) and his fiancée Debbie Ramage (21) live with their three children aged four, two, and one, in a four-in-a-block council flat at Allan Terrace in Dalkeith.

Following an initial problem with damp in their hall last year, the couple recently noticed black mould in a cupboard, which Debbie believes is responsible for her being off work at Sainsburys, at Cameron Toll in Edinburgh.

She said: “I suffer from asthma and the doctors have told me this is currently making me worse as asthma never bothered me like this before.

“I’ve been signed off work for five weeks now as I’m unable to work.

“We’re struggling as a family and the council just won’t listen to us.”

The children had been sleeping in the room with the cupboard since the family moved into their house just under a year ago. When the family switched rooms three weeks ago they emptied the cupboard and found a patch of “big fluffy mould”.

Colin said: “That was the first time that we had been in that cupboard. The council came out and said it was just condensation. That was about two weeks ago.

“It was black mould which has a deeper infestation. I read up on it. It’s really bad for your health. It doesn’t rub off, it’s like brick. But the council said it was just condensation.

“They said it would be investigated. That has been over a week now and we have heard nothing.

“We have got three young kids so we are obviously concerned. Our one-year-old has been ill quite a lot, having the cold and viral infections that could be caused by the mould.”

Colin feels like the council has forgotten about his family. He said: “This issue is only going to get worse. We feel like they don’t care about us.

“We have been told we will get new windows, but in two or three years’ time. That’s no good. I would have thought we would be a top priority with three children here, but it doesn’t seem to be the case.”

A spokesperson for Midlothian Council said: “A member of the council’s building maintenance service spoke to the tenant and advised on ways to reduce condensation in the property. Council workmen will also be carrying out works to improve some of the walls in this property.”