Pensioner in boiler battle

AS freezing temperatures hit the county this pensioner was left with no hot water or heating for several days when her boiler broke down.

AS freezing temperatures hit the county this pensioner was left with no hot water or heating for several days when her boiler broke down.

Despite the 68-year-old Marva Phillips of Handford Road, Ipswich, developing flu symptoms and having to get up in the early hours of each morning to empty a bucket of water leaking from the boiler, Riverside Housing authority left her with a broken boiler for nearly a week.

But hours after The Evening Star stepped in, Mrs Phillips received a call from the housing authority and was told to expect a new boiler today.

A despairing Mrs Phillips contacted the paper after a week-long battle. She is having to sleep in her living room near to an electric heater she borrowed from a neighbour.

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She said: “I think they should at least let me know what is going on. I am waiting in every day for them to call.

“I told them the doctor said I have all the symptoms of flu and must stay indoors and be warm. I feel neither Riverside nor their engineers have made enough effort to speed up this installation.

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“At Christmas I usually have my children here but I do not know if I am going to be able to cope with it now.”

Mrs Phillips's problems began at 3pm last Friday, when her hot water stopped working and water began pouring from the boiler into the kitchen.

She immediately contacted Riverside Housing, but no-one arrived to inspect the boiler until Sunday, and she was told a new part was needed to fix it.

By this time, Mrs Phillips's throat was sore from the cold, and she had been getting up in the middle of each night to empty the bucket collecting the water in her kitchen.

On Tuesday another engineer said she needed a new boiler, but he had to get paperwork from Riverside Housing before he could order it.

On Wednesday, her building manager told her she would receive confirmation soon, but by Thursday afternoon she had still heard nothing.

Olajide Akintelure, property manager of Riverside Housing said: “We take the welfare of our tenants very seriously. We are sorry to hear about Mrs Phillips' problems with her heating.

“Our engineers have confirmed that she needs a new boiler and they will start the job today. Our housing officer has called in to check that the house is warm enough and to make sure that Mrs Phillips is ok.”

n. Do you think the problem should have been fixed sooner? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email

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