Resident at boiling point over hot water problems

Ramsay Road resident Robert Shields has hit out at SBHA
Ramsay Road resident Robert Shields has hit out at SBHA

A RAMSAY Road resident who hasn’t had enough hot water to fill a bath for years has accused Scottish Borders Housing Association of neglecting his family.

Robert Shields has decided to speak out against the organisation after constant problems with a heating system which he says has been nothing but trouble – resulting in no proper hot water for more than seven years.

He says boiling pans everyday to do the dishes, and often going days without heating is part of regular life for the west end family, due to a catalogue of problems since the boiler was installed by SBHA.

Mr Shields, an unemployed builder, stated: “I don’t usually complain but enough is enough. For more than seven years we haven’t had hot water or consistent heating because of the boiler system. Engineers must have been sent out between 10 and 30 times each year, we’ve had two new boilers and all the radiators taken into the garden to be rinsed, yet it still doesn’t work.

“My wife works at Deanfield and after a long shift when she comes home at night would love a soak in the bath, but can’t. All we can get is a few inches of hot water. The tank is huge and we don’t get enough hot water.”

This is coupled with the fact they are also often without heating, Mr Shields revealing: “We once went 18 days without hot water or heating over Christmas which isn’t acceptable.”

And although the dad-of-three’s children are grown-up, he says the issue is now affecting a new generation. “We can’t even give our grandaughter a bath when she comes to stay”, he stated. And added: “We feel like we’ve been neglected. Although SBHA do send engineers out, everyone passes the buck. We just want a solution.”

A spokesperson for SBHA commented: “We are sorry to hear that Mr Shields has been having problems with his heating, and we will be contacting him. A full inspection will be carried out on the tenant’s heating system which should eliminate any further problems. Heating repairs are carried out by a sub-contractor and we will be contacting them to discuss the management of ‘repeat repairs’.”