Heating turning itself off at night in Northampton council flats

Melbourne House, Northampton
Melbourne House, Northampton

Residents in council-owned flats in Northampton have been left frustrated and cold after finding that they were unable to heat their homes during a six-hour period each day.

Residents of Melbourne House, in Melbourne Road, St James, have said that the council block’s heating system, which is controlled by Northampton Partnership Home,s has been automatically switching off between approximately 11.30pm and 5.30am since November last year.

One resident said that when she tried to turn it back on manually, the air vents, which release warm air into the individual flats, just blew out cold air.

Lesley Brett, aged 56, who lives in one of the flats said: “I pay almost £10 per week for heating and hot water, and some residents pay even more.

“We were never notified that this was going to happen and this is unfair because if the council continue to take our money for something then we should have a say in it.

“Some of us have phoned the council to ask for answers but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

“We have been being promised a new heating system for over two years but nothing gets done and it is so badly maintained.”

Another resident at Melbourne House, aged 77, said that she effectively pays double for her heating because she pays the same amount again in electricty to power two electric fires to keep her flat warm.

She said: “I had to get up in the night to take medication when I had flu over the winter, and I noticed that cold air was coming out of the vents.

“I got someone out to look at it because I thought it was broken, but there was nothing wrong with it.

“If the owners are doing this then it’s absolutely disgusting and just not good enough.

“There are many people living here in their 80s and 90s who spend most of their time in their homes and shouldn’t be kept in the cold.”

NPH have since visited Melbourne House and said they are looking further into the issue, suggesting it was not deliberate.

A spokesman said: “We have not received any direct complaints about the heating at Melbourne House, and we are currently investigating the issue.

“We visited the building this week (Monday 9 February) to check on a number of tenants, how warm the building is and provide advice.

“Following our visit we have provided a number of tenants within Melbourne House with temperature monitors to establish whether there is a problem with the system.”