Burnfoot family’s heating plight

A Chay Blyth Place family are living in “appalling” conditions and have had their pleas for new central heating “ignored” by their landlord.

William Fletcher, who lives with his wife Angela, ten-year-old daughter Leigha and son Aaron, who is also ten, in the Scottish Borders Housing Association (SBHA) property has made numerous pleas for new heating but he says he’s been dismissed for the past three years.

And despite help from local Councillor Stuart Marshall, he is dreading the onset of another winter in a cold and damp property.

Speaking this week, Mr Fletcher told the Hawick News: “We have damp in the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom and two bedrooms. It has been like this since I moved in here. It is appalling. I am unemployed at the minute and it’s hard enough to cope with that without having the added problems this causes.

“It costs a fortune to heat this place in the winter. If it’s really cold and wet outside it is very expensive. In the past I have spent as much as £100 in four days to keep it heated and I just can’t keep that up. I feel we have been totally ignored. It’s not a situation anyone should find themselves in.”

Mr Fletcher describes the storage heaters in his house as “useless” and says the situation has affected his kids’ health: “The current heating system is totally useless, it’s shocking that we’re expected to live in these conditions, it’s disgraceful. I pay £80 per week for this house and it is not fit to live in.”

“Councillor Stuart Marshall has been great. He has been very very helpful and he can’t do enough for us. But I don’t think there is any more he can do. I’m at my wits end as another winter approaches. I would love to have central heating in here and for the kids to wake up warm in the morning instead of cold and struggling to breath because of the damp. It’s just an awful sitiauation.”

Commenting, Mr Marshall said: “This family deserve a fully functional heating system and they should be given an explanation as to why this has not happened. With winter on the way this is just not good enough.”

The Hawick News contacted SBHA yesterday but they failed to respond by our deadline.