Leader vows to hold Clarion to account after Sadler Close visit

A Sadler Close resident shows Cllr Garrod water damage in her flat

Residents living in homes managed by Clarion Housing in Mitcham had the chance to speak to the new Leader of Merton Council and ward councillors on Thursday 26 as they visited the Sadler Close estate. 

Cllr Ross Garrod, who was confirmed as Leader of the Council last night, was accompanied by Merton’s Deputy Mayor, Cllr Agatha Mary Akyigyina OBE, and Cllrs Natasha Irons and Dan Johnston, as well as staff from the Housing team.

Local residents had been invited to share their concerns about properties on the estate, and told Cllr Garrod and his colleagues about disrepair to homes caused by water damage, issues about antisocial behaviour and a lack of communication from Clarion. 

Cllr Garrod said: “Frankly I was shocked to see the state of some of the flats and the estate in general. Some properties have front doors which don’t close because they’ve been warped by water damage, while others have moisture coming through ceilings making electrical fittings dangerous to use. 

“I’m also concerned that tenants are forced to repeatedly bring up issues about their properties with Clarion and don’t receive swift communication from them about the progress of their complaints. 

“There is no doubting that Clarion has fallen short of the standards residents deserve, and we’ve made it clear that we expected to see an urgent change in culture regarding the way they listen to tenants and engage them.

“We will not stop holding Clarion to account, making sure they listen to our residents and focus on winning back tenants’ trust.” 

The visit came after the Housing Ombudsman found Clarion guilty of Severe Maladministration relating to a 2019 complaint from a resident about repairs on another Merton property.