Family's heating nightmare

THIS Christmas should have been like a dream for one Ipswich family when they moved into their new home.But it turned out to be more like a nightmare when they were left without gas for the whole of the holiday leaving them with no heating, hot water or cooker.

THIS Christmas should have been like a dream for one Ipswich family when they moved into their new home.

But it turned out to be more like a nightmare when they were left without gas for the whole of the holiday leaving them with no heating, hot water or cooker.

And despite Ipswich Borough Council sending out an engineer on Christmas Eve he said he as unable to fix the problem until January 5 when everyone came back to work.

To add insult to injury they were provided with two electric heaters – but they are on pre-paid electric and ended up forking out £20 within three days on electricity to try and keep the house warm.


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Luckily mother-of-two Tanya Howgego, 26, was able to spend much of Christmas at her mother's house but because her mother was ill, she had to go back to the house, warmed by just two electric heaters, on a number of occasions.

Her problems started on December 23 when she went to move into the three-bedroomed house in Devonshire Road, Ipswich with one-year-old Luke and four-year-old Charlie.

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She said: "I had been in temporary accommodation for seven months.

"When I got the letter through from the council saying I had got a house I cried my eyes out – it was my dream.

"It was all I wanted just to get settled and get my children settled but it turned into my worst nightmare."

Miss Howgego said that because the house had been standing empty for so long before she moved in, the gas had been capped off and there was also a problem with the boiler.

Miss Howgego said: "Because my mum was ill I had to come home to give her a rest.

"I was also ill and so was my baby. I had to keep the heaters on all night to keep us warm and my clothes were damp."

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Borough Council said that the council are unable to do anything until they know who the gas supplier is, but the problem is now due to be repaired.

She said: "On 24th December an engineer was sent to the property to repair the problem, he was unable to do so on his first visit and required the

assistance of an electrician.

"Because of the Christmas break this was not possible, the standby service

only operates an emergency response and provides temporary heating. This was delivered to Miss Howgego on Christmas Eve immediately after the repairman indicated he could not repair the fault.

"Miss Howgego may be entitled to compensation under our right to repair

scheme but she needs to make a claim in writing to this office and it will

be fully investigated and her claim assessed and she will receive a full

written response."

N What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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