Circle Housing pledge - more tradesman will be taken on so families are not left without heating and hot water in social housing across the Fens

Cllr Virginia Bucknor. Waterlees Village.(Ind)

Cllr Virginia Bucknor. Waterlees Village.(Ind) - Credit: Archant

A young mum with a newborn baby is among families in social housing across Fenland without hot water and heating who have been left wondering when it will be fixed.

As temperatures drop tenants of Circle Housing say they have suffered problems with boilers but when they are told somebody will call them at an allotted time they do not then call.

When they do finally ring or come round tenants are told the problem cannot always be fixed straight away due to a problem getting parts - even though they are basic things which could be picked up at any local plumbing store, according to a Wisbech councillor.

The latest round of families suffering include:

• A row of three homes in Newton who have been without heating for two months.

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• A family with a newborn baby who will have been without hot water for almost two weeks.

• A family without heating or hot water for a week with no indication of when repairs will be done.

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• A family had to wait a month for heating.

• A bedridden mother with disabled children with no hot water - it was resolved after a councillor stepped in.

Sophie Davies, who has an 11 year old daughter, seven year old son and a two week old daughter, said: “We’re driving down to my parents so we can all have a shower - with a newborn baby it is a nightmare.

“I gave birth on January 25 and on January 27 reported the heating and hot water issue. The heating took a week to fix but the water will be two weeks by the time it is sorted - and that is only because I have chased and got the local councillor involved.

“Nobody should have to chase like this, it’s terrible for people, and I bet not everybody likes complaining so maybe just put up with it.”

Councillor Virigina Bucknor said: “We are experiencing serious issues with boilers and heaters for residents in our ward as well as elsewhere.

“Families are told ‘we will call you back. We are awaiting parts’. This is given to every family we have spoken to since this matter was raised to us in November.

“All have said they never get a call back, all are told awaiting parts.

“With a call back promise, it causes great anxiety because people need to know when they can make sure they are at home, should they stay somewhere else etc.

“Equally the question must be - why are there never any spare parts?

“Usually two fan heaters are left with residents. One family said they cost £1.50 an hour.

“Why is annual servicing not being done adequately?

“We believe there is a serious issue with the Robert Heath engineering contractors working in Fenland as I have only had excellent reports of the company from elsewhere in the UK.”

A Circle Housing spokesperson said: “We are very sorry that some of our residents in the area are experiencing these issues.

“We are working hard to address the problems and our contractor has assured us that measures are being taken to improve services, including recruiting more operatives to deal with issues.”

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