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My fury as disabled brother of 81 spent two weeks without heating
4:00pm Monday 16th December 2013 in News
A FURIOUS woman hit out after her elderly brother was left without heating for more than two weeks.
Derek Smith, 81, of Seaview Avenue, in Little Oakley, noticed his heating had stopped working on Sunday, November 24, and immediately reported the fault to Tendring Council, which owns the house.
He was visited by workmen several times, but they were unable to resolve the issue, which involved a broken electric motor.
Mr Smith was forced to boil the kettle when he needed hot water, put a blanket over his legs and use a portable heater to try to stay warm. His sister, Win Brazier, said she was disgusted it took so long to be put right.
Mrs Brazier said: “Originally, he was told it would be fixed the Wednesday or Thursday after the breakdown.
“I think they should be named and shamed because he is 81 and disabled.
“I am furious. It is disgusting.
There are always warnings at this time of year about looking after elderly neighbours, but that does not mean a thing.
“People like us have been working all of our lives, putting money into the system, but we don’t get help when we need it.”
Mr Smith was frustrated the problem took so long to fix. He said: “They told me it was the motor, but they were not able to sort it.
“It would have been easier to take the whole boiler out and replace it than mess around for so long.”
The heating was eventually mended on Tuesday.
Paul Honeywood, Tendring Council’s member for housing, apologised and said the service Mr Smith received was not acceptable.
Councillor Honeywood said: “At this time of the year, we expect our contractors to resolve such matters within 24 hours and this went on far too long.”
Mr Honeywood added that the council’s housing team would be speaking to the contractors about the delay and would make it clear that this should not happen again.
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