Families at Margate flats plagued by drug users using communal area due to main door being broken for weeks

Sandra says she is exhausted due to constantly clearing up the debris left behind by trespassers using drugs in the communal areas

Residents in a Margate block of flats say they are being plagued by drug takers using the communal areas and leaving their paraphernalia lying around on the floor and window sills because the main access door to the block has been broken for 6 weeks.

Families in the Sandhurst Place block say users are cutting up their drugs inside the hall and stairwells as well as leaving discarded items because there is nothing to prevent them gaining access.

The broken main door at the property, managed by Orbit, was first reported on September 13 but despite promises to get it fixed this still has not happened.

Sandra Payne is a 54-year-old mum living in the block with her 10-year-old son. She has disabilities and her son lives with autism and is home-schooled. She says she is exhausted after regularly staying up all night, waiting for trespassers to go so she can clear away the paraphernalia they leave behind.

She said: “They are using their stuff here, cutting it up on window sills, not thinking that a young child could touch it or that they could discard a cigarette end and set fire to us all just because Orbit won’t fix the main security door to the block.

“I’ve got pictures and videos taken from my bedroom window early hours in the morning of a heroin addict in the block two nights in a row, one even shows him putting something up his bum. I stayed up from 4 am, which was when I noticed him there and what he was actually doing, until 9am until he left.

“I kept creeping out my flat and checking down the stairs and each time I saw him I went back indoors. I did this so I could clean up after him as I would never forgive myself if a child did touch it.

“At 9.30am I managed to clean up. Police were informed and did nothing until days later. Orbit were informed and still the door is still broken.

“I’ve been doing this for weeks now trying to keep the families and mine safe at night . I’m a 54 year old disabled single mum to a 10 year old autistic boy that I home school, I take morphine 4 times a day for pain, I take other pills for depression that I need to take at night but for the last month or so I’ve felt that I have to do this because Orbit can’t get the main door fixed and secure.

“One time when I rang about the door and they said it’s a security breach but still haven’t sorted it to keep us safe, I’ve written so many emails to them and even to MP Roger Gale and all he can do is forward my emails on to different people

“There’s a huge problem here and nothing gets done. I’ve reported antisocial behaviour, made diaries and nothing. I bet Orbit wouldn’t like sharing their stairs with junkies. Parents with young children walk past them on the stairs breathing in their smoke. I’m getting so tired now having to do this.

When the police finally came to see me about the first man they advised me not to approach him, he’s a danger to females and he’s a person known to police for sleeping in electric cupboards.”

On October 22 someone got into the block and vandalised the lift control cupboard despite Orbit telling The Isle of Thanet News on October 13 that the main doors would be repaired in seven days.

Sandra said: “Someone got in the block, the door was not fixed. They vandalised the lift control cupboard. One neighbour said the noise from the cupboard sounded like it was going to blow up. Orbit fixed the lift cupboard but still did not secure the main door. “When they do these repairs they put our service charges.”

Kent Police confirmed officers were called to the incident. A spokesperson said: “Kent Police is investigating a report of damage caused to an electrical cupboard connected to a lift in a communal area of flats in Sandhurst Place, Margate.

“The damage is reported to have taken place at around 9pm on Friday 22 October.”

On October 13 an Orbit spokesperson said: ““Contractors are booked to undertake repairs to the front communal door and fit a new locking mechanism within 7 days. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and will continue to liaise with the customers to ensure they are satisfied with the outcome.”

However, the repair has not yet been done and Sandra says Orbit is trying to get a new security system put in that cannot be broken but meanwhile access to the block is still open and the beading holding the glass on the inside of the doors is now  also broken.

She added: “They should seal off the door until it can be fixed and we can all use the back door that actually works.”

UPDATE NOV 4: A statement from Orbit says:“Contractors attended 1-13 Sandhurst Place on Wednesday 3rd November to undertake repairs to the front communal door and fit a new locking mechanism. The front communal door is now locking and releasing on a fob entry system.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and will continue to liaise with the customers to ensure they are satisfied with the outcome.”

11 Comments

  1. The usual generic bollock speak reply that as the lady says doesn’t solve the ongoing problem in any way-come & fix the damn door now until your new system is fitted.

    Of course now it has received publicity you can bet they will be round there pronto fixing it-like the damp ridden hellholes on the ITV News that had been ignoring complaints about the tenants for months or years, magically somebody is suddenly round there within hours of it getting on national television. Shame you have to resort to shaming these companies online to stop behaving like slum landlords, but it is the only way sadly.

  2. I also live in Orbit property this is supposed to be ‘secure’ If the gate is left open (more often than not) then people can walk in and to any of the 6 flats in this block. We have suffered this problem for the past 7 years and have given up contacting Orbit to get it fixed. I am also disabled and am hopefully going to be moved soon to a ground floor flat as my carer (who is also my son) is too you ng for us to get a bungalow.

  3. Orbit has got to be one of the worst companies involved in social housing, most of the “hands-on” employees I’ve come across don’t know one end of a hammer to the other, they’re also under strict instructions not to spend money, if that do, it’s a bollocking from their manager, same mentality all the way up the line..

    If Sandra Payne read’s these comments….I worked at the Winter Gardens and before the boxing event we would smear WD40 on all window sills and toilet seats as they would use these places to cut their drugs, it totally ruins their drugs, if you use this in the meantime, it may deter them coming back 🤷🏼‍♂️

  4. More examples of where a private company was given a contract to manage Social Housing. As if a private company could manage things better. But they don’t! They even sub-contract repairs to yet another private company that fits in the job around all the other jobs on their books.
    The ethos of “public service” just gets lost in a welter of contacts and sub-contracts until the people who eventually do something practical are the lowest-paid and least committed of them all!
    The water and sewerage companies were privatised and we were told that it would save us a fortune as the private owners would pay for the services now! Apparently, they would provide much-needed investment to improve the pipework etc.
    But, like the unrepaired doors on privately-managed flats, it never happened. The owners and shareholders pocketed the cash instead.

    I hesitate to claim that ALL states would run housing management and water services better as it turns out that most of our water companies are owned by governments—but not by OUR government! They are owned by 8 different countries around the world such as Saudi Arabia, Quatar and Singapore.
    What was all that Brexit talk about “taking back control” from the foreigners? If I didn’t laugh I’d cry, and that would just make the flooding worse!

  5. If they not doing anything then board/block the door off yourselves and use back door until orbit pull finger out butt!

  6. You think Orbit are bad we are in Margate and have a managing agent Parsons Son and Basley based in the Brighton area who take months to undertake basic maintenance repairs to the building on a regular basis.Curiously enough they have also failed to remedy an ongoing problem with our door entry system resulting on previous occasions with drug using rough sleepers sleeping in the building . It seems far too often as far as managing agents are concerned out of sight and out of mind .

    It is about time poorly performing housing associations, social landlords and poorly performing managing agents such as Parsons Son and Basley were brought to book!

  7. Move to Invicta hse its nice n quite there. Also always friendly faces on the stairwell to greet ya. It’s the same all over

    • Invicta House must have changed over the years I used to live opposite and they used to have alot of problems.mind u I miss the area.now I live in Paddock wood.i would love to move back down that end .

  8. I got a few people we will go sit there of a night and waiting for obit to do any work you have got about 4 months to wait for them to even look at it I used to work for them

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