An open letter to THH CEO Susmita Sen and Cllr. Sirajul Islam – a tenant needs help

LW has been made aware of a situation where a family of five, including an ill mother, has spent weeks suffering the cold weather because her boiler needs replacing.

Will Tower Hamlets Homes, the housing arm of Tower Hamlets Council replace the bolier? Who knows. But let’s try and help things along a little shall we? LW knows nothing about plumbing but we do know about writing about stuff. So off we go.

To: Susmita Sen, Tower Hamlets Homes Chief Executive & Cllr. Sirajul Islam, Statutory Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing (Labour, Bethnal Green).

Dear Ms. Sen and Cllr. Islam,

We have no wish to write and publish this open letter to you but LW is aware of a situation where a Tower Hamlets Homes (THH) tenant, a disabled mother of four children who lives in Shadwell, has had no hot water or heating since before the 2nd of December this year and we would ask you, on her behalf, to get this fixed.

Cllr. Rabina Khan has been dealing with this case personally and is very upset that such a simple thing as providing heating to a family of five seems to be beyond the capabilities of the Council and THH.

“Tower Hamlets Homes know very well they have to replace the boiler but they would rather not,” said Cllr. Rabina Khan (Lib Dem, Shadwell). “This woman’s flat is very cold and this immediately affects one side of her body following her Neurological Functional Disorder. When I first tweeted, it [the boiler] got fixed and then it broke down again on Sunday the 2nd of December and its happened again today.”

This evening Cllr. Khan rang LW to tell us what was going on – hence this open letter. (She did not ask us to do this, we just get angry when we hear about this sort of thing so here we all are.)

Twitter solves nothing (as usual)

This has been the situation since 20th November, see this tweet from Cllr. Khan on 22nd November:

LW helped out a little and tweeted this:

And then Cllr. Islam you tweeted this in reply:

How many other THH tenants are cold tonight?

THH CEO Susmita Sen
THH CEO Susmita Sen

On the basis of this case it seems highly likely that other THH residents are suffering in the cold weather because your organisation(s) either do not care about providing basic services or are not capable of properly carrying out repairs.

We don’t care that much which of these is correct (maybe both?) but we do know that this lady and her four children need a proper solution to their problem and they need it now. Tonight.

In the Tower Hamlets Homes Service standards for tenants there is a promise to ‘Complete your repair correctly on first visit whenever we can.’

We can only assume this is Public Relations nonsense as this particular tenant has been visited multiple times by THH service engineers, each time they have said the tenant’s boiler has been fixed and each time the boiler has failed.

At least one of the engineers has told your tenant that the boiler needs replacing as it is beyond repair. So this is what we ask you do please. Replace it. Not try and repair it again. Replace it.

You don’t want to annoy this woman. Seriously.

Cllr. Rabina Khan (Shadwell, Lib Dem)
Cllr. Rabina Khan (Shadwell, Lib Dem) – not happy.

Cllr. Khan is the person your team(s) need to call and get on the case with this.

Just between ourselves in our professional experience, it is a really bad idea to piss her off. LW has done this a few times in the past. It was not pleasant. (Fortunately she never threw the bucket of ice shards at us, but it was a close run thing.)

And the only thing worse than pissing Cllr. Rabina Khan off is to piss her off and piss Love Wapping off at the same time about the same thing.

Excuse our language.

When your tenant’s boiler is replaced then we will let everyone who reads this know what a wonderful job you have done.

In fact LW thinks that this is such a good idea that we will pop round to this lady’s flat and take some photos of her nice, new, replaced boiler the moment we hear it has been replaced.

At absolutely no charge of course. It’s just what we do.

Apologies for not giving you right to reply before publication but sometimes niceties just get in the way. We are sure you will agree – because none of us are cold tonight.


The entire Love Wapping Editorial Team (Late Shift), the Wapping Mole and various Wapping Wildlife Rangers who made the tea but failed to provide biscuits.

PS Did we mention the boiler needs replacing? Yes? Oh good.

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2 thoughts on “An open letter to THH CEO Susmita Sen and Cllr. Sirajul Islam – a tenant needs help

  1. Some exposure needed on THH. How many employees. How many vehicles. Annual cost of running these. Pay of senior staff…

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