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Radiators given to residents who have been without heating or hot water since Christmas

Residents at a housing complex have been provided with new radiators after being left with no hot water or heating since before Christmas.

A report by the Journal last week revealed that many of the residents living in Riverside flats on Welham Street, have faced ‘nothing but problems’ since a new heating system was installed three years ago as part of an ‘improvement plan’ by South Kesteven District Council (SKDC)

Many of the residents, mostly elderly, have been forced to wear their jackets, hats and gloves indoors to try and cope against the freezing temperatures as the new system continues to fail.

Mr Harry Rai, assistant director for housing at SKDC visited residents at the complex on Wednesday to listen to their concerns.

David and Kathleen Gadd, both 68, have lived in the complex for 30 years.

They have been without hot water and heating since before Christmas and have had to travel to family in Melton in order to have hot baths.

David said: “I was pleased to have the opportunity to sit down and talk properly with Mr Rai.

“He explained exactly what the situation was regarding the deterioration of the pipes and their plans to solve it.”

As well as the radiators,residents who currently have no hot water will be provided with hot water heaters for their sinks until a more permanent solution is sorted.

David added: “Mr Rai also said that residents will be refunded for any increased charges on their electric bill as a result of using the radiators.

“This will please many of the residents including one elderly gent I spoke to earlier this week who was too afraid to use the new radiator for fear of not being able to afford his electric bill.

“Apparently a meeting is going to be arranged between Mr Rai and any residents that he didn’t get to speak to on Wednesday.”

After several residents experienced difficulty in assembling the oil radiators, caretakers from SKDCarrived to help assemble them.

Peter Clawson, who has lived in the flats for 19 years, received his radiators this week.

He said: “My heating actually got fixed on Monday so I haven’t had to use them yet however as the heating system doesn’t warm up the entire flat very well, the radiators will come in very handy when it gets extra cold.”

A spokesperson for SKDC said: “We have visited Riverside to update residents on the current position and actions we are taking to address issues some residents have experienced with their heating and hot water supplies.

“We are working with Liberty Gas at present to resolve the issues.

“To prevent problems recurring we are planning for a complete replacement of all the external pipework from the boiler room to the flats, some of which is underground.

“We are currently in discussions with contractors with a view to starting the work as soon as possible, details of which will be known in the next few weeks.

“In the meantime, officers from South Kesteven District Council have delivered mobile heating units to all affected homes at Riverside.

“These are also being rolled out to other properties at the complex this week, whether they are affected or not.

“Arrangements have been made to fit hot water installations, which have been prioritised for properties that have an intermittent supply.

“The health and well-being of residents is a priority and our supported housing officers will be making regular visits to the complex to check on their welfare.”

Mr Gadd is pleased with the progress but wishes action could have been taken sooner, adding: “Why have they waited another winter to do something? This could have been done last summer.

“However Mr Rai was happy to listen to me and took everything I said on board and it now seems like everything is going in the right direction.”

“It finally feels like someone is listening to us.”

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