Councillors have clashed over the state of a housing block that residents say has been plagued by pest infestations, flooding and crime.

The housing issues in Marsh Drive, West Hendon came under the spotlight after a mum appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme on Tuesday (October 29).

Mother-of-two Annie said her family had been “left to rot” on the estate and her children had been bitten by cockroaches.

At a full Barnet Council meeting held the same day the episode was aired, Labour councillors called on council leader Dan Thomas to meet with residents of Marsh Drive.

The councillors claimed it was only due to pressure from their group and media attention that the problems in the housing block were finally being fixed.

But the council leader said there was no need to meet with residents as the issues were already being sorted out – and accused Labour councillors of neglecting the West Hendon ward.

Marsh Drive contains the only housing block remaining from the original West Hendon estate, which has been extensively redeveloped by Barratt Homes.

Cllr Anne Clarke (Labour), Childs Hill, said the living conditions in the block were “quite appalling”.

She said: “Residents’ internal hallways were flooded, there is evidence of drug use in the hallways and their flats were infested with vermin.

“Residents have complained over and over again to Barnet Homes [the council’s housing arm].

“Only after pressure from Labour councillors, and now media attention, have promises actually been made. I ask the leader again, are their living conditions acceptable?”

Cllr Thomas replied that the conditions were not acceptable but denied action had only been taken because of Labour councillors.

He said Conservative ward councillors had been involved in trying to resolve the problems, which were due to an “unfortunate combination of events”.

Cllr Thomas added: “There is more to West Hendon ward than Marsh Drive – there is a whole ward down there that has been neglected for the last 50 years by Labour councillors.

“There were potholes that were not reported, pavements that were not fixed. We have Conservative councillors cleaning it up, and good luck to them.”

Cllr Sara Conway (Labour), Burnt Oak, called on the leader to sit down with residents and discuss their security concerns.

She said: “Show some humanity. Stop hiding behind Barnet Homes and Brian Coleman and everyone else, and stop playing politics.”

But Cllr Thomas replied: “No. The issues have already been discussed and are being dealt with.

“The only people who have every played politics and take advantage of vulnerable residents in West Hendon are the Labour Party and hard-left groups who don’t like regeneration.”

The leader claimed the crime problems could have been dealt with much more quickly if the Mayor of London had not closed the local police safer neighbourhood team hub.

Barnet Homes has set up a “dedicated hotline” for people in the block to report any issues and says “urgent roofing works” are underway to stop flooding.