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Maggots at mum and baby hostel

PUBLISHED: 17:04 13 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:08 25 August 2010

Bexley
11-08-08
Katrina Goater living in a hostel with maggots

Bexley 11-08-08 Katrina Goater living in a hostel with maggots

A MOTHER had to be separated from her 16-week-old baby after she found maggots and fleas in the hostel she was staying in.

A MOTHER had to be separated from her 16-week-old baby after she found maggots and fleas in the hostel she was staying in.

Single mum Katrina Woodcock, 22, says she found maggots in her baby Maisie's bouncy chair and underneath her play mat, at the mother and baby hostel in Hollywood Way, Slade Green.

But when the Miss Woodcock called the council she claimed they told her it was nothing to do with them, even though they housed her there.

Miss Woodcock, who became homeless after she had Maisie, when there was no more room at her disabled mother's house, left her baby with relatives after making the grim discovery.

She said: "It is a horrible feeling to be away from your baby. Any mother would know that.

"The maggots were all on Maisie's toys and teddies. I didn't know what to do. All they had to do was touch her and she could be ill. It is disgusting.

"When I saw them crawling on her toys, I was freaked out and was close to tears.

"It is wrong that they put pregnant women in here and families with children.

"I don't see where the council's priorities are.There is no way you can take care of a baby in there."

Miss Woodcock said the hostel also has a flea problem and a six-week-old resident was bitten by one. Over the weekend she said her window was shaking as it was infested with bluebottle eggs."

She says although the caretaker hoovered the maggots from her floor, a pest control person has yet to visit.

A spokesman for Bexley council said that Miss Woodcock and her daughter would be moved into self-contained accommodation on Tuesday.

He said: "This is in line with the government target which stipulates that families should not spend longer than six weeks in shared accommodation.

"Her complaint was taken very seriously and investigated immediately. Any other family found to be affected by the infestation will also be offered alternative accommodation and further placements will not be made until we are satisfied that the problem has been fully resolved."

He said Hexagon Housing Association, which manages the hostel, is reviewing its cleaning contract and arranging for a pest control company to assess and treat the infestation.

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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