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Hoxton residents lose TV for month thanks to housing chiefs' snub

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 December 2010

©Olivia Harris; Hoxton St residents Alf Montgomery, Margaret Little, John Sullivan, without television or phone signal on 13th Dec 2010; Photo credit should read: OLIVIA HARRIS

©Olivia Harris; Hoxton St residents Alf Montgomery, Margaret Little, John Sullivan, without television or phone signal on 13th Dec 2010; Photo credit should read: OLIVIA HARRIS

Olivia Harris, (+44) 7881 810 878, www.oliviaharrisphotos.com

Older residents fear they may not have reception in time for Christmas.

A GROUP of elderly people claim they have been snubbed by heartless housing chiefs and fear they may be left without TV this Christmas.

Tenants of Arden Estate, Hoxton, have been unable to watch their favourite programmes for four weeks after their reception was cut off when the communal aerial was knocked down.

But when residents contacted the council, Hackney Homes and the Tenant’s Management Organisation (TMO) they both refused to take responsibility.

Margaret Little, 63, said: “We don’t want to kick up a fuss, we just want it sorted for Christmas. It’s important to me. I’m on my own and I’ve got arthritis and sometimes I can’t get out so I need my telly. I’ve already missed the 50th anniversary of Corrie, I don’t want to miss any more.”

When TV reception was lost, tenants contacted the estate office but they blamed the area’s transmitter antenna.

The reception problems continued and still no one accepted responsibility. One tenant paid for a repair man to come out after he was wrongly told to get his TV fixed and another was told to get cable put in.

John Sullivan, 77, said: “I spoke to the TMO, they said they’re not responsible, so I spoke to someone at the mayor’s office and they said it’s nothing to do with them and that I should contact Hackney Homes.

“I did that and they told me it is the responsibility of the TMO. They just keep bouncing us around.”

Alf Montgomery, 93, had a similar experience, he said: “Eventually, they told us that someone would come down the next day, but they didn’t come.

“I live on my own, I haven’t got much else to do but watch the TV. No one seems to care, but it’s very important to us.”

Shirley Fagan, Hackney Age Concern Advice Team Leader, said that over the Christmas period TV plays an important part in elderly people’s wellbeing at a time when they are often left completely alone.

“TV is a real lifeline to them, I can’t stress how important it is. These people must be going round the twist without it, I really feel for them,” she said.

After being contacted by the Gazette, Hackney Homes said it was now trying to resolve the problem: “We would like to apologise for the problems residents have been experiencing.

“We are working closely with the TMO who manage the estate to resolve this as soon as possible.”

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