Insulation delays leave pensioners living in the cold

Melvin Jones House in Stubbington

Melvin Jones House in Stubbington

An aerial picture of Highlands Road, Fareham

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PENSIONERS in a council-run sheltered accommodation have criticised work to put in insulation – which has ended up leaving them colder.

Fareham Borough Council began to put in cavity wall insulation at Saint Mary’s Road Flats and Melvin Jones House in Saint Mary’s Road, Fareham in February last year.

But because of damp problems in six flats, this work has stalled, leaving gaping holes in the walls – and residents are furious.

Maureen Clarke, 72, speaking on behalf of the residents, said they have been left exposed as cold draughts have been coming through holes left in the external walls.

She said: ‘We haven’t been given enough information.

‘All I have got between me and the elements is the plasterboard.

‘I have had to pull my bed away from the wall as I could feel the cold coming through.

‘It’s not good enough to leave us like this.’

Mrs Clarke said the last time she saw work action was at the end of November.

She said: ‘If it was not damp before then it will be now as the weather has been coming in through the holes.’

Councillor Brian Bayford, executive member for housing, apologised for the delays.

He said: ‘The nature of this work is slow and painstaking with brickwork being taken out at many locations and insulation physically removed by hand.

‘Then the brickwork has to be left to dry out for several weeks before the replacement, more water resistant, insulation is piped in.’

He said work started in March on the first building – Saint Mary’s Flats – and was completed in July.

Further investigations were carried out and the council decided Melvin Jones House, next to the flats, would also benefit from insulation.

Cllr Bayford said: ‘This resulted in a second phase of works, which was completed in October.

‘The third, and final, phase of works is currently in progress.

‘The staggered approach to the work is due to the timing in which these issues have been identified.

‘It was not evident at the start of the scheme that the issues were so widespread however we are now addressing all properties.’

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