Cold wait for boiler repair in South Witham

Paul Hayton is unhappy with how long it is taking to fix his boiler.
Paul Hayton is unhappy with how long it is taking to fix his boiler.
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In the midst of the coldest temperatures this winter, a couple in their 60s remain without a working boiler after a two-week wait.

Paul and Ruth Hayton are struggling to keep warm at their home on Station Avenue, South Witham. As the property is owned by South Kesteven District Council, boiler repairs come under the remit of contractor Liberty Gas.

The couple are particularly concerned about the effect on their health, with Paul, 67, having suffered a heart attack and undergone triple bypass surgery at the end of 2014, while 60-year-old Ruth is diabetic.

Mr Hayton said: “As soon as it broke down two weeks ago I was on to the council. The lady I spoke to at the council was very helpful on the phone, and Liberty Gas came out last week. But then they said they needed a new part and would come again on Monday.

“I took time off work, but an hour beforehand they rang my wife to say they couldn’t come until Wednesday, and it would be an all-day appointment. But both of us work.”

Despite managing to get more time off on Wednesday, it was only to be told that there was a more serious problem and more parts were needed. “It was only serviced last November, so I think something should have been picked up then. And now we’ve got to wait again,” added Mr Hayton.

The only heating they have in the house is a gas fire in the living room, and for hot water they have to boil a kettle due to not having an immersion heater, although this is contested by SKDC. On Wednesday, the pair were provided with some temporary electrical heaters, but given no date when the repairs will be made, as it depends on when the parts can be obtained. After his experience, Mr Hayton researched online and came across a Journal story about a family left without heating for a month in 2014, also while waiting for Liberty Gas to get a new part. “It makes me wonder how many other people are going through this,” added Mr Hayton.

SKDC’s executive manager for property Neil Cucksey said: “We are aware of the issue with the heating at Station Avenue and our contractors Liberty Gas have been out to the property to try to fix the problem. They were on site on Wednesday morning and fixed the original issue which had been reported to us, however that generated a subsequent issue which now needs to be fixed. Liberty Gas have explained the situation to the tenant and will resolve the problem as soon as possible.”