OAPs left in the cold

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HOUSING chiefs have apologised to scores of vulnerable and elderly residents who have been left in the cold during the big freeze.

Angry residents at Marian Court in Buxton say they have had to endure three weeks without hot water and days of no central heating because of a boiler problem.

One tenant said he had resorted to buying a sleeping bag to keep warm at night as temperatures plummet below freezing while other residents – some of whom are in their 90s – have been forced to stay with relatives.

High Peak Community Housing (HPCH), which manages Marian Court, said it was working to address the problem and apologised to residents.

Michael Bonsall, 63, who has lived at the Sherwood Road site for two years, said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous – people aren’t happy about this at all.

“I’m having to boil the kettle to have a wash and I need to buy a sleeping bag because it’s so cold at night.

“A few people are staying with family members and I’m really concerned about the health of some of the older residents – we’re talking about people aged 90 odd years.

“It’s just not on.”

Mr Bonsall’s concerns were echoed by other residents who said they were worried about falling victim to health problems including hypothermia.

HPCH said it was “fully aware” of the ongoing problem.

A spokesman added: “We’ve been experiencing intermittent issues with the hot water and heating – it’s coming on for a few hours but then it’s going off.

“Our records show there has only been Sunday without both hot water and heating.

“We’ve had engineers out, we’ve had staff on-site and we’re supporting tenants with temporary heaters and offers of temporary accommodation.

“Due to the intermittent nature of the problem, we cannot be specific about the downtime to the system.

“We know this is a huge inconvenience to residents and we apologise for the problem.”

Marian Court is home to about 30 residents.