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Hackney Homes tenant 'was told to wait a month for stinking, full-up portable loo to be emptied'

PUBLISHED: 18:27 09 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:18 14 March 2017

Alison Williams with grandson Tristom Ellison (8). The toilet not working in her flat also affects family members. Photo: Polly Hancock

Alison Williams with grandson Tristom Ellison (8). The toilet not working in her flat also affects family members. Photo: Polly Hancock

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A woman who was given a portable toilet after her toilet broke was allegedly told she'd have to wait an entire month for the stinking container to be emptied.

Alison Williams has been given a temporary toilet to replace her recently installed toilet which does not work. After one day it is too full and too foul smelling to continue to use. Photo: Polly HancockAlison Williams has been given a temporary toilet to replace her recently installed toilet which does not work. After one day it is too full and too foul smelling to continue to use. Photo: Polly Hancock

Alison Williams, 51, phoned Hackney Homes’ emergency line when the toilet at her flat in Browning House, Shakespeare Walk, Stoke Newington, got blocked on Tuesday night.

Unable to fix it, the repair man left her with the temporary toilet – which she claims he promised would be emptied every 24 hours.

But when no one came to do the deed yesterday afternoon, Ms Williams said she called the Hackney Homes repairs line and was told no one was available to sort it out until noon on April 3 – in nearly a month’s time.

Understandably concerned, she asked to speak to environmental health officers, but said they put her back through to the repairs team – who again confirmed they could not come out any earlier.

Alison Williams tries to use a bowl of water to flush her recently installed toilet which does not work.Alison Williams tries to use a bowl of water to flush her recently installed toilet which does not work.

But after the Gazette contacted Hackney Council today, the portable toilet was emptied and a spokesman apologised for the inconvenience.

Ms Williams told the Gazette earlier the smell had been “overbearing”.

“In this day and age I shouldn’t have to live like this,” said Ms Williams, an aerobics instructor who is out of work because of an injury.

“The toilet is by the front door, and the smell is going into the bathroom and my bedroom.”

She continued: “I can’t put it outside in the hallway because that’s unhygienic for everyone else, but it’s smelling. I’ve been spraying air freshener and the windows are open.

“I’m going to a tribunal tomorrow to fight a case for myself and I have to put up with that s*** – literally.”

Kind workmen even told her she could use their toilet, which is outside the block of flats, during working hours – but it’s locked up at other times.

The council spokesman said: “We have spoken to the resident today and advised that while the [main] toilet could be used safely by flushing it with a bucket of water, the portable loo has been put in place if the resident found this way of flushing a difficulty.

“A plumber visited the property yesterday to investigate the issue and the toilet will be fully repaired tomorrow.”

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