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Norwich mum get council apology after boiler failure

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 December 2010

Kirstie Jones who has had to wait to have her boiler fixed
here with children (right) mark-jay 3 yrs old and and Reece 4 yrs old
Photo: Jerry Daws
01603 772434
edp , en

Kirstie Jones who has had to wait to have her boiler fixed here with children (right) mark-jay 3 yrs old and and Reece 4 yrs old Photo: Jerry Daws 01603 772434 edp , en

©Archant Photographic 2010

A Norwich mum and her family were left for days without heating or hot water during the cold snap following a boiler breakdown, because council engineers did not have the part needed to fix it.

Kirstie Jones, from Cubitt Road in Heartsease, said her family had been forced to sleep in a single bedroom and boil the kettle to get hot water for baths after the boiler stopped working last week.

The 22-year-old said the boiler had started cutting out more than a week ago and she reported the problem to Norwich City Council last Wednesday, although City Hall said they were first made aware of the problem on Friday.

She was given two fan heaters to keep the house warm, but when an engineer turned up she was told the boiler could not be repaired because it needed a special part. And when an engineer visited on Tuesday and got the boiler working, it broke down again about 20 minutes later, and the two fan heaters had been taken away. Today the city council apologised to the family for the inconvenience caused and said they were also raising the issue with contractors because the repair should have been carried out as a emergency.

The mother-of-two, who lives with sons Reece, five, three-year-old Mark J, and her partner Mark Fletcher, said she had been forced to spend £20 a day topping up her electricity meter to power the fans, and was unhappy at how her complaint had been dealt with.

“My house has been completely frozen,” she said. “My boys’ bedrooms are wet because it’s so cold in there. We’ve all been sleeping in one bedroom because it’s too cold.”

City council spokesman Sara Martinez said Miss Jones will be able to claim for the cost of the extra energy used. “As we deem this to be an emergency repair, we would have expected this to have been resolved more swiftly and so we must apologise for the delay.

“We are speaking to the contractor to find out what has happened and it will be resolved as a priority. If after a repair has been carried out, there are subsequent problems, we urge tenants to report this to us immediately so we can fix this as a matter of urgency.”

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact Shaun Lowthorpe on 01603 772471 or email shaun.lowthorpe@archant.co.uk.

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