I'm left without heating every year in my council house – my kids have had pneumonia and there's no end in sight

I’m left without heating every year in my council house – my kids have had pneumonia and there’s no end in sight

A WOMAN whose council home heating breaks each year fears her kids will get pneumonia again this winter.

Leigh Diamond, 43, from Delabole, near Camelford, has been sleeping under dozens of blankets, walking about her house in multiple jumpers and waiting for her heating to be fixed since the start of November.

I’m left without heating every year in my council house – my kids have had pneumonia and there’s no end in sight

Leigh says her council home goes without heating every year Credit: BPM

The mum-of-two has lived in her Cornwall Housing home for 11 years with her partner and children.

She says each year a regular service of their Mitsubishi air source heating unit ends up breaking it for weeks on end.

This year the family's three-bedroom house has been without heat since November 9.

She said: “Each year, they come to service it in November, and it breaks.”

A fan heater she's borrowed is costing £10 a day to run.

Leigh said: “That’s hundreds in three weeks – and I can’t go to work when the engineers are due in so that’s more lost money.”

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I’m left without heating every year in my council house – my kids have had pneumonia and there’s no end in sight

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With temperatures dropping to near-freezing in the past few weeks, Leigh said she’s concerned for her family’s health.

Her children, aged 7 and 12, are sleeping under multiple duvets and sleeping bags each night to stay warm.

Leigh is a chef at a nearby pub – but that work is a struggle as she is constantly told to wait at home for people to fix her unit.

On any given day, Leigh can be forced to wear three pairs of trousers, two pairs of socks, a T-shirt and a hoodie while her thermostat sits on 8.5 degrees on a warm day.

She says it rarely rises above 10.

Leigh continued: “There’s no end in sight, really. My kids have had pneumonia because of this in previous years, and I’m immunosuppressed myself – I would prefer not to have engineers coming in my house because of Covid.

“Last year I had to have a heat pump fixed and a new overflow reservoir. This year a new external fan. Something’s gone wrong with it every year for 11 years.”

'NO CHRISTMAS'

Leigh says engineers were sent out in early November for a routine service but accidentally damaged the unit and have left the property without heating.

“The house is a 200-year-old cottage, one of the original properties. It’s an old slate house, you can’t imagine how cold it feels on this floor.

“I’m sick of bashing my head against the wall. There will be no Christmas if this keeps up, I can’t afford to heat the house with this one tiny heater.”

The house is managed by Cornwall Council-owned Cornwall Housing.

A spokesperson for council-owned private company Corserv, which runs Cornwall Housing, said work is underway to resolve this issue.

They said: “We endeavour to carry out repairs as soon as possible after they are reported – working with tenants to find a solution to any issues so that they remain comfortable in their homes.

“In this case, our specialist contractor identified a mechanical issue with the programmer on the air source heat pump at this property.

“This has been escalated to the manufacturer and their engineers need to investigate and repair.

“Temporary heating has been supplied in the meantime and we will contact Mrs Diamond regarding additional heating costs or support required.”

Coserv did not respond to the claims about this issue repeating each year for more than a decade.

The Sun has contacted Cornwall Council and Coserv for additional comment.

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