An Edinburgh mum-of-two says she feels 'unsafe' in her flat following investigations into asbestos in the building.
Paulina Niedzialek lives in a council flat in Craigmillar Court and has spoken out after she heard workmen drilling and scrapping the flat next to her.
Captured on her smart doorbell, she saw workmen with taking stacks of red bags out of the apartment and down the lift. Edinburgh Council has apologised for any noise and inconvenience that may have occurred and reassured that any 'precautionary' action was handled in a safe manner.
But for Paulina, this is the last straw in her desperate attempt to make her flat a home for her young family.
Speaking to Edinburgh Live, she said: "I have two young children. Ola's 10 and Maja is just six months, and I don't feel safe here. We got a letter saying there were going to be investigations into the asbestos but the other week (April 11), we heard this really loud drilling and scraping.
"No one was told that this work was happening, I could hear them scraping at the walls and really heavy drilling. I don't want to be breathing it in! They said they were 'investigating' it but then why were loads of bags taken away? And the men were wearing protective suits."
Edinburgh Council has said that these works are 'completely confined' and added that asbestos is not harmful if left alone. If any asbestos is found, it will be safely handled and removed by their professionals.
This comes after years of Paulina battling dampness and mould in her flat. She moved over from Poland 14 years ago and has lived in Craigmillar Court for nine years.
She said: "The council have put double walls in, but the condensation is still so bad. There's mould in the corners of my walls, in my daughter's cupboard, and it's getting on her mattress, so I need to buy her a new one. Ola gets a runny nose a lot, and we've had to take Maja to the hospital three times for her chest. I'm worried it's this flat."
The mum-of-two added: "When I first moved here [to Craigmillar] it was okay, my daughter could play in the park, the school is close and there's grass for the dog. But now, Ola is scared to go outside, the damp keeps coming back, and now there might be asbestos. I'm so desperate to move out.
"It's difficult because I've got no family here, I can't stay with anyone else. People say to me, 'well if you don't like, move back to Poland, return to your own country', but I've lived here for 14 years. My daughter was born here, she doesn't want to go Poland, she doesn't speak Polish well. I just want somewhere to safe to live."
A council spokesperson said: “We’re one of the first local authorities in Scotland to pilot a ‘whole house retrofit’ approach to council homes. This means we’re in the process of upgrading lots of our older homes and making them much more energy efficient. Craigmillar Court is a building we plan to invest in so we’re carrying out some precautionary works in a home which is currently empty.
"This low risk work is being done safely by licensed professionals at no risk to anyone else in the building and the results will inform our retrofitting programme. We would like to apologise for any noise or inconvenience this work has caused residents.”
Tenants are also urged to get in contact with the council if they are concerned or upset by the disturbance.