Residents of Lyons Court, Chatteris, say Circle Housing Roddons are neglecting them after being without hot water for seven weeks

Caroline Toth at home in Lyons Court with letters from Circle Housing Roddons

Caroline Toth at home in Lyons Court with letters from Circle Housing Roddons - Credit: Archant

Residents of a sheltered housing scheme in Chatteris who have been without hot water for seven weeks because of a suspected legionnaire’s outbreak say they are being “neglected” and “treated as imbeciles” by Circle Housing Roddons.

Caroline Toth and Cllr Anne Hay

Caroline Toth and Cllr Anne Hay - Credit: Archant

Tenants of Lyons Court have been forced to boil kettles in order to wash up and bathe - and it could be a further six until the problem is solved.

Caroline Toth, who has lived in Lyons Court for five years, said the current situation is “dangerous and unfair.

“Some of the ladies here can’t walk. It’s not fair,” added the 79-year-old.

“How the hell can they be expected to wheel their walkers from the kitchen to the bathroom with a kettle on top?”

Cllr Anne Hay and Caroline Toth

Cllr Anne Hay and Caroline Toth - Credit: Archant

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As well as having no hot water, she said that Roddons are neglectful to Lyons Court residents in general.

“Roddons think that because we’re old, we’ll be dead soon so they just forget about us.

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“We are meant to have carers, or at least someone, who comes and sees us each day. But we’ve got nobody.

“Nobody knocks on doors to ask how people are. Who are we meant to complain to?

Letter from Circle with address listed as March

Letter from Circle with address listed as March - Credit: Archant

“They are just treating us like imbeciles.”

Chatteris Town Councillor Anne Hay says the time it is taking Roddons to sort the issue is unacceptable and has been in contact with them about the problems.

“A lady approached me on the day of Chatteris Midsummer Festival and told me about the issues at Lyons Court.

“I spoke to Circle last Monday and they said they would find out who was responsible.

“I was told that a chemical wash through had been done and they had tried something else, but the cause of the problem was still unclear.”

Cllr Hay added that someone from Circle said in all the years he’s worked in the area, he’s never known anything like it.

When she contacted Circle on Monday of this week, she was told that the test rate was at a higher level than before.

Cllr Hay was told that if the problem could not be rectified, then a filter – which costs £18,500 and could take between six and eight weeks to arrive – may be the only option.

“Every time that Cricle sends someone out it costs £600. If they’ve had these problems in other areas surely they should have known what to do – and it would have been more cost effective.”

Another resident, aged 63, said: “It’s frustrating for everyone who lives here.

“These are vulnerable people, and Roddons are just fobbing us off. They keep testing the water but nothing happens. In fact, it’s getting worse.

“I know for a fact from one of the engineers that somebody is using the water. There are some people here who understand but some who don’t – and their health is being put at risk.

“At the end of the day this all just smacks of neglect. They don’t do anything. It’s not sheltered housing, it’s sheltered nothing.

“How come it’s got this bad? If they were testing on a regular basis, surely they would have known what to do sooner.

An 84-year-old woman, who has been a resident for 10 years, added: “It’s an accident waiting to happen, so it makes you frightened.

“No-one from Roddons has come and spoken to us in a meeting. We don’t expect compensation but we do want them to respect us and get their priorities right.”

Sue Stavers, head of housing for Circle Housing Roddons, said: “Our residents’ safety is our top priority. We are working hard to restore hot water at Lyons Court as quickly as possible, and are extremely sorry for the inconvenience caused.

“Tomorrow (Friday) we will provide residents with nearby temporary accommodation for the day while we flush out the water system, which we hope will resolve the problem.

“We also plan to install a new filter system, which will provide a permanent solution, however this work is likely to take over a month to complete.”

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