Denmead pensioner left in the cold for seven days with no hot water

A 93-YEAR-OLD woman was left freezing without hot water or heating for a week in her sheltered housing flat.

Wednesday, 13th April 2016, 5:55 am
Vera Moore-Heppleston had no heating or hot water Picture: Raphaelle Perez

Vera Moore-Heppleston lives in White Wings House, in Ashling Park Road, Denmead, which is managed by Winchester City Council.

She had her boiler switched off by a maintenance engineer who discovered a small gas leak.

But after being told it would be fixed the next day, Vera had to wait seven days before she was able to use it again.

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‘It was so cold,’ said Vera. ‘It was absolutely awful.

‘It was switched off by a man who came to find a gas leak. I asked if it was going to be fixed that day and he said it would be sorted by tomorrow.

‘I normally sit in the chair by the radiator because it is warm, but it was absolutely freezing.

‘I couldn’t even have a hot shower to warm up because the water was so cold.’

Vera, who is deaf and disabled, said there was no-one on site she could complain to.

‘We have no managers here,’ she said.

‘We used to three years ago but not any more.

‘We have a person who is available between 10am and 1pm but they are not allowed to come round to visit us.

‘If you can’t go and find them it is a case of tough luck.

‘Obviously I can’t really leave the flat to go and search for them and I can’t use the phone because I’m deaf.’

Vera has no family available to check on her wellbeing either.

‘You are very much on your own when you get to my age,’ said Vera, whose husband, Derek, died 20 years ago, aged 79.

‘I have not got anyone left. My friends and colleagues have all died.

‘You’re not meant to live to nearly 94 any more – it’s terribly rude of me.’

When asked if she was hoping for an apology from the housing company, Vera said: ‘I doubt they even know how to spell the word.’

A spokesperson for Winchester City Council said: ‘The council’s appointed contractor turned off the boiler to make it safe with the anticipation of swiftly repairing but they were then unable to obtain the usually, readily available part.

‘The contractor has apologised, as does the council, to the tenant.’