Disabled Milton Keynes pensioner left without heating for two months by bungling council contractors

Richard Brierley
Richard Brierley

How many council contractors does it take to fix the central heating for one disabled man?

That’s the question facing frustrated pensioner Richard Brierley who has to sit with two duvets around him just to keep warm.

The answer is at least half a dozen contractors in eight visits over the past two months to Mr Brierley’s council-owned bungalow in Stoke Goldington.

And, after all that, his electric heating system was still not working at all until the Citizen contacted the council this week.

Even now it is not fully repaired due to a problem with the thermostat.

Workers from Your MK, the council’s partner company resposnbile to millions of pounds worth of city repairs, even fitted a new boiler last month. But when that refused to work too, a inspection from suppliers Redring identified fitting mistakes that made it too dangerous to even switch on.

An email from Redring states cables had been put in the wrong place and no isolator on the flow and return had been fitted. The email adds that the inspector “advised user not to use” the boiler until the faults were rectified.

Mr Brierley, who has heart disease, COPD lung disease and osteoarthritis, said last week: “I’m still waiting, despite constant calls to Your MK. And I’m still so cold that the morphine I have to take for pain doesn’t even work.“

He added: “Meanwhile the council has given me two fan heaters. But I can’t use them because they dry out the air and make my COPD worse...I’ve just lost all faith.”.

Two years ago MK Council formed Your MK in a 50:50 partnership with Mears Group plc. This partnership is now responsbile for all repairs of council properties

Your MK is also resposnbile for the regeneration of seven priority estates in MK. The idea is that the council and Mears combine “expertise and financial resources”.

Stoke Goldington is a small village of just 620 residents. It has no mains gas, so Mr Brierley has an electric boiler to heat his Town End Crescent bungalow.

A spokesman for MK Council said: “

“We can confirm that Mr Brierley does now have heating to his bungalow, although work is still needed on the boiler’s thermostat, to more fully control the temperature.”

He added: “We are sorry it has taken so long, but we hope to fully resolve the matter very quickly.”