Family left without heating for two weeks

A ST NEOTS family have been left without heating for nearly two weeks as temperatures plummeted.

A ST NEOTS family have been left without heating for nearly two weeks as temperatures plummeted.

Jimmy Goldsmith, 49, contacted social housing landlord Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association (bpha) on December 10 when the boiler in his Loves Farm home packed in.

He was told repairmen would be round to the property but, when he and wife Natalie returned from a 10-day break away, they discovered the heating still was not working.

Since Sunday the couple have been battling for the repairs to be made. An engineer managed to fix the problem yesterday to some degree, but the boiler is still not fully functioning.

Mr Goldsmith said his four-year-old step-daughter Lauren Wilson had been forced to stay with her grandparents while the house in Woodridge Crescent remained in freezing conditions.

He said: “The boiler stopped the day we were due to go on holiday. We had no hot water or heating. We rang the landlord and told them we were due to go away that evening, but I left them a contact number of someone who had a key, so they could arrange to get access to the house.

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“When we got back, there was no heating, so I rang the emergency number, and they had no note on their system of my original call. I rang first thing on Sunday morning and was told an engineer would be there within 24 hours.

“We rang eight times [on Monday]. When I rang for about the third time at midday, I was told it was the builders’ responsibility. They sent me out two emergency heaters, which are like greenhouse heaters and they do not really heat the house.

“We have sent our four- year-old to my in-laws because we do not want her to sit in the cold.”

Mr Goldsmith said boiler breakdowns had also plagued neighbours’ homes. Residents were planning a meeting to discuss the situation.

A bpha spokesman said the company was aware of the issue and had passed the matter on to Sandy-based builders Kier Partnership Homes immediately.

Julie Wittich, head of property services at bpha, said: “Today (Tuesday) we sent one of our own engineers who we understand has managed to fix the problem.”