It became clear this weekend that some the new heating systems installed by One Vision Housing Association have not worked and that the procedures put in place by One Vision have not been adequate both in terms of getting the heating and hot water back on and in effectively communicating with tenants.
One has contacted me again today outlining her struggle with the association:
'.... the tenant initially rung the emergency out of hours contact centre about this matter at 7.20 am on Friday 8th January. As at the time of writing this e-mail (8.15 am Monday 11th Jan), no engineer has visited her house, and she is having to stay in yet another day today, wondering if they will "turn up" and possibly loosing a days pay at work.
The following are times that she has rung the emergency number, only to be fobbed off with feeble excuses, and no compassion from the person at the other end of the phone, It's a disgrace, and we think it needs to be highlighted through yourselves, or the media, how One Vision are quite prepared to leave their rent-paying tenants, with no running hot water, etc, for over 3 days during sub-zero temperatures!!
Times rung on Friday:-7.30am,1.30pm, 4.30pm, 6.30pm.
Times rung on Saturday:-8.20am, 9.30am
I do not have the list of times rung on Sunday, but will e-mail them to you later. Various call waiting times range from 9 minutes to 45 minutes, and each call is costing her money as they are not freephone numbers.
A representative did call round, on Sunday morning, he was from One Vision, and was just handing out fan heaters and her name was on the list. If One Vision were obviously aware of the unprecedented number of call outs, surely they should have drafted in extra resources.
XXXXX is now getting to the point were she is not only frustrated, but angry and annoyed. We trust through you we can seek some form of compensation, why should she have to pay 3 days rent, when she can't even wash or shower properly, coupled with the phone calls made.'
Now Southport is the constituency has the 8th highest number pensioners and on that basis there may be as many as 3000 pensioners failing to claim the winter heating allowance in Southport
Nationally 1.7m pensioners will miss out on Cold Weather Payments says Prof Steve Webb (Lib Dem MP) writing on the party's website he says:
Up to 1.7m pensioners will miss out on Cold Weather Payments triggered by the recent weather, according to analysis of Government figures by the Liberal Democrats.
Cold Weather Payments of £25 a week are paid to people on low incomes who receive a qualifying benefit, such as Pension Credit, which goes unclaimed by as many as 1.7m pensioners.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Steve Webb said:
“It is a scandal that pensioners on the breadline are missing out on these payments, worth an estimated £42.5m. “Fuel prices are at an all time high, making Cold Weather Payments all the more important to people already struggling on a poverty pension.
“Government should be making every effort to identify pensioners who are missing out and get them this extra cash.”
Labour has failed pensioners by creating a complicated system that makes it difficult for them to get the help they desperately need.