Mum's cold comfort

SHIVERING mum-of-two Nicola Monk is today seeking compensation after a housing association took more than two weeks to fix her central heating.The 23-year-old, of Adams Place, Kesgrave, felt she was left out in the cold by Shaftesbury Housing Group after her boiler broke down and became increasingly concerned for the welfare of her small children.

SHIVERING mum-of-two Nicola Monk is today seeking compensation after a housing association took more than two weeks to fix her central heating.

The 23-year-old, of Adams Place, Kesgrave, felt she was left out in the cold by Shaftesbury Housing Group after her boiler broke down and became increasingly concerned for the welfare of her small children.

Miss Monk was given a temporary heater and water boiler, but she said these were inadequate because she was forced to take baths in other people's houses and keep a constant vigil on her seven-month-old daughter.

She said: "It is bad because my daughter can't hold her own temperature. I have to constantly keep her warm. I have also had to put my daughters to bed with double duvets. It has been very stressful."


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When Miss Monk's boiler broke down, she contacted Shaftesbury Housing Group and they arranged to send an engineer round within 24 hours, as is standard practise in urgent cases.

Miss Monk, who has a partner and also a three-year-old daughter, says no-one arrived within that time and she had to call the Shaftesbury Housing Group again before an engineer came round.

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According to Miss Monk, the company admitted to her they had had problems organising for an engineer to visit.

The contractors hired by the group detected the fault in the boiler and told Miss Monk that a spare part was needed.

Miss Monk says she persistently contacted Shaftesbury Housing Group, but could not get anything done and felt the delay was unacceptable.

She said: "I think it is disgusting. It is not fair the way they have treated me. It just seems they have forgotten about me.

"I blame both of them because they work as a team. If they are not working as a team then nothing is going to be done."

The spare has now arrived was due to be fitted, but Miss Monk said she has written to Shaftesbury Housing Group to demand compensation.

Sean Cahill, marketing and communications director of Shaftesbury Housing Group, said: "We need to review our process (with the contractor) to see what went wrong, if anything, and see how we can speed things up in the future."

The contractor, who The Evening Star has decided not to name, refused to comment but said they had not been contacted by Shaftesbury Housing Group since the initial visit and insisted they had fulfilled their contract.

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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