‘Falling ceiling nearly hit my daughter’

Kevin Livingstone and Jessica Peirson with their two young daughters, Mia and Skye, and, below, collapsing ceiling in flat. (1404146AM2)
Kevin Livingstone and Jessica Peirson with their two young daughters, Mia and Skye, and, below, collapsing ceiling in flat. (1404146AM2)

A Ripon mother fears for the safety of her family after part of her flat’s ceiling collapsed and nearly hit her baby daughter while she lay in her rocker.

But despite other cracks and holes in the ceiling, Jessica Peirson – who lives in the council flat on Lead Lane with partner Kevin Livingstone and daughters Skye, 22 months, and Mia, nine months – says Harrogate Borough Council will not carry out repairs until April 22.

Collapsing ceiling in flat. (1404146AM2)

Collapsing ceiling in flat. (1404146AM2)

“It’s disgusting – the council should be seeing it as a priority with bits of the ceiling falling down,” said the 22-year-old who has lived in the property since August 2012.

“It was scary when Mia was nearly hit. If it had been a bigger piece and heavier and hit her it could have done her damage.”

Cracks began appearing in the ceiling earlier in the year and in February the council carried out minor repairs, including screwing part of the platerboard ceiling back up.

Kevin, 32, said: “When I inspected where the work had been carried out there was lots of black mould there. The ceiling can move about 5cm and my hand could go through like it was an eggshell.

“It’s not safe at all, with wires hanging out of light fittings too. It’s appalling how we have to live. I’m scared the ceiling will come down.”

Kevin, who works at McDonalds in Ripon, is also asthmatic and Jessica is worried his condition could be aggravated by the state of the flat.

“It’s not helping Kevin being exposed to the mould, loft insulation and fibre glass, because of his asthma,” she said.

After the Gazette contacted Harrogate Borough Council about the couple’s concerns, it sent someone to the flat to carry out some temporary work before more works are carried out next week.

A council spokesman said: “Ms Pearson’s home is part of a major programme of improved insulation currently under way and this will include insulating and the sloping sections of ceiling, and overboarding and plastering the whole of the lounge ceiling. This work is scheduled for April 22.

“We take our tenant’s concerns extremely seriously and in view of Ms Pearson’s concerns about plaster dropping from the ceiling, on Tuesday, April 15, we attended and removed a small section of loose plasterwork in advance of the more substantial work planned for next week.

“While we appreciate Ms Pearson’s wish for the work in her home to prioritised, and we are sorry for any inconvenience the delay has caused, the work is part of a larger programme affecting a number of tenants which has had to be planned to ensure overall value for money.”

But Jessica has been left unimpressed with the work carried out this week.

“We’ve been left with an even bigger hole than we had to start with,” she said.

“We’re more exposed to the insulation and the ceiling is continuing to collapse from different areas so it doesn’t mean other bits of ceiling won’t collapse before they come to do the job.”