This Is CheshirePensioner's anger over slow repairs (From This Is Cheshire)

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Archive - Friday, 26 April 2002

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Pensioner's anger over slow repairs

A PENSIONER has hit out at council-contracted heating engineers who left him and his wife with only an electric fire for four weeks.

Reg Sparks, 68, who suffers from bronchitis as well as angina, claims that a job at his house that should have taken just a few days has taken four weeks.

And he says contractors also caused a leak which has damaged the couple's furniture.

Mr Sparks and his wife, Mary, of Edinburgh Road, Marlow, asked Wycombe District Council to call a company after their central heating broke down before Easter.

Mr Sparks said: "It has been nothing but a damn nightmare and we have suffered a lot of hassle.

"It was ten days before the firm came and we have had an electric fire in our front room for four weeks. Over the Easter holiday I had no heating at all."

He explained: "The contractors had to replace the boiler and clean out the radiator and the man was here for two days. Then another man had to come round and clean up the mess."

The contractors next set about fixing the radiator, which had begun to leak after they had done the previous work on it.

The radiator had overflowed, causing extensive flood damage to part of the house, which took another three weeks to clear up and put right.

A district council spokesman said: "We are concerned to hear that Mr Sparks was not happy with the work carried out by Bowden's.

"We have used this company for many years and have always been satisfied with their work.

"This problem has not been previously reported to the council's heating section but we will be investigating the matter without delay. Mr Sparks will be contacted and every effort made to ensure that the matter is concluded to his satisfaction."

Brian Bowden, owner of Bowden's Plumbing and Heating, said the company had offered to steam clean the sofa to repair the damage but the offer was refused.

He said: "We had to upgrade his boiler and there were a few problems with his old system that we had to clean through.

"He has not contacted us and that is what me and my supervisor cannot understand. If he has a grievance then he can write to me and I will look into it."

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