Family shiver without heating

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A CHRISTCHURCH family - including a two-month-old baby - were left out in the cold after their heating system broke down.

And Stewart Webb and his partner Janine Bays claim their home has been without heating on and off for the past three winters - ever since Roddons Housing Association installed a new underfloor system.

And they and their four children: Sacha (10), Connor (9), Joshua (7) and baby John have had to rely on just one small heater to keep them warm.

They have also been without hot water since the system stopped working in early November.

“It is absolutely diabolical. We have had nothing but problems ever since the system was installed in January 2009.

“Within the first month it had caused flooding to the downstairs and since then it has hardly worked during the winter months.

“It is OK during the summer, because obviously we only use it for hot water. But as soon as the weather turns cold and we need the heating it stops working - it is no joke.

“We have had just one little heater to heat the house since about November 11 and so all six of us have had to stay in the living room to keep warm,” said Stewart.

He claims plumbers sent by Roddons to repair the system don’t know anything about it because it is so new and he says the family have contacted the housing association six times in the past week.

“We were told a plumber would be coming to fix it on Wednesday and we waited in all day and no-one showed up. They contacted us on Friday to check if anyone had come out on Thursday - but again we waited in all day and no-one came.

“It is not good enough. We have a two-month-old baby in the house, we don’t have any hot water,” said Stewart, who has refuted claims by a Roddons spokesman that there have been a total of six call-outs since the heating system was installed.

“That is simply not true - we have had nothing but problems with the system and this is the third winter we have been left without heating - we have put in so many complaints I have lost count,” added Stewart.

However, a spokesman for Roddons said: “We know how difficult it is to live without heating at this time of year, and have provided the family with extra heaters so that they can heat their home.

“We were called about this problem which has happened because of the extreme weather on December 27.

“Our engineer visited the residents on Tuesday to try to fix it, but the fault needs to be repaired by the manufacturer. Our team is putting pressure on the manufacturer to get it fixed as soon as possible.

“The manufacturer has promised they will fix this within the next couple of days.”