Widow in tears after being left without heating for six weeks

Betty Gipp, 83, from Bowthorpe, who has been without heating for the past six weeks after contractors for the council...

Betty Gipp, 83, from Bowthorpe, who has been without heating for the past six weeks after contractors for Norwich City Council replaced the radiators/heating system. - Credit: Danielle Booden

An 83-year-old widow says she has been left in tears after being left without heating in her retirement bungalow for six weeks.

Betty Gipp, who lives at Norwich City Council-owned Bradecroft Retirement Housing on Rawley Road, Cloverhill, Bowthorpe, said the problem started after contractors Stimpson Heating Engineers Ltd of Norwich started replacing the radiators and hot water cylinders inside the 41 bungalows at the complex from September.

She said the new heating worked initially but has not worked for the past six weeks.

Mrs Gipp said: "The new radiators are stone cold. The winter is going to be bad. I don't know if I'm going to survive because I'm not going to be warm."

She said her neighbour, another 83-year-old woman, was also suffering with a lack of heating.

Mrs Gipp added: "Nobody can tell us anything. We are hitting our heads against a brick wall.

"I'm a bit frightened. I'm a small woman and only weigh seven and a half stone. I have been wearing tights, socks, trousers and two jumpers.

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"I had a few tears last week. I get down and unhappy about it. At our age we shouldn't have this."

Betty Gipp, 83, from Bowthorpe, who has been without heating for the past six weeks after contractors for Norwich...

Betty Gibb, 93, from Bowthorpe, who has been left without heating for the past six weeks in her retirement bungalow after contractors replaced the heating system on behalf of Norwich City Council. - Credit: Danielle Booden

As well as replacing the radiators and hot water cylinders in all the bungalows, Stimpson Heating Engineers is replacing the external heating pipework which is buried in the ground.

Director of the firm, Richard Stimpson, said: "We have completed 28 bungalows to date. Mrs Gipp and neighbour's bungalow are the only properties that have encountered any issues with the heating.

"We believe this not to do with our installation but are longstanding issues with the existing system.

"At no time have the residents been left without heat as a result of our work and temporary heaters have been provided when the heating system has been needed to be turned off temporarily for essential works.

"We have sympathy with Mrs Gipp and her neighbour and will keep working closely with them."

A council spokesperson said: "We are committed to ensuring the wellbeing of residents in our sheltered housing schemes.

“Both residents who are experiencing issues with their newly installed system have been visited and reassured their heating is working as it should and will continue to be given support.”

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