Dagenham families freezing due to broken boilers
AS FREEZING temperatures hit the borough three households endured a fortnight without hot water and central heating as they waited for the council to fix their broken boilers. One couple claim their 14-week-old baby caught a viral infection because of t
AS FREEZING temperatures hit the borough three households endured a fortnight without hot water and central heating as they waited for the council to fix their broken boilers.
One couple claim their 14-week-old baby caught a viral infection because of the chilly conditions in their flat and an 88-year-old pensioner says her home is so cold she struggles to leave her bed.
Enterprise, the council's maintenance contractors, says it can't repair the boilers until certain parts are delivered.
Each household has been provided with a portable heater, but the unhappy tenants say the heaters are ineffective and expensive to run.
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Kylie Bedford, 21, and her partner Rikki Hill, also 21, of Bastable Avenue, Barking, have had no central heating or hot water since their boiler broke on December 23.
Kylie says her 14-week-old daughter, Bella Rose, caught a viral infection last week and was told by a doctor it was probably the cold flat that caused it.
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She said: "I've been really worried about her. Babies are very vulnerable at that age. We've called Enterprise and the council so many times about the boiler, and have told them we have a baby. But we keep getting told they're still waiting for the part. They also say they have to prioritise elderly people."
Disabled pensioner, Jessie Hurd, 88, of Sheppey Road, Dagenham, has had no central heating or hot water since December 20.
Her grandson and live-in carer, Michael Hurd, says his grandmother, who suffers from diabetes and other conditions, has been finding it very difficult to cope.
"She struggles to move around the house as it is, so when it's cold it's even harder for her. She has been spending a lot of time in bed, as it's the only way she can stay reasonably warm."
Michael, 40, says it was so cold in the house at one point a cup of tea left in the sink overnight had a layer of ice on it in the morning.
He added: "I can't believe the council are allowing an elderly person to go through this."
Louisa Perry, 27 and Robert Mark, 29 of Woodlane Dagenham, have been waiting for their boiler to be fixed since December 24.
The couple, who have a five-year-old daughter called Chloe, say they are finding the conditions in their flat unbearable.
Louisa said: "Not only is it cold, having no hot water is a nightmare. Every time you want to wash dishes you have to heat the kettle, and we've had to have baths at friend's houses.
"We keep calling the council to complain, but they're not listening to us. We shouldn't have to put up with this."
Two days after the POST contacted the council, Enterprise engineers repaired the boilers at Wood Lane and Bastable Avenue. They were due to fix Mrs Hurd's boiler on Monday.
A council spokesperson said: "Unfortunately in all three cases there was a delay in carrying out the repair because it was not possible to obtain spare parts immediately.
"Enterprise has now reviewed its procedures for supplying parts and hopes to minimise any similar delays in the future.
"Temporary portable heaters were provided in all of these cases and the repairs were carried out as soon as parts were available. We apologise for the discomfort and inconvenience caused by the delays.