‘New boiler installed quickly, all thanks to South London Press’


A registered blind pensioner’s family have thanked the South London Press after her boiler was repaired a week after it broke down – in the worst cold spell of the winter.

Lillian McKenna, 84, of Neil Wates Crescent, Tulse Hill, was left shivering in her home after her boiler developed a leak on Thursday, March 1.

An engineer went to the flat, and disconnected the boiler, as he said it was not repairable. So she was left with no heating or hot water while the temperatures outside dipped below -6C.

She had been discharged from King’s College Hospital in Camberwell only a week before, so was already in a frail state.

Her son, Robert Braddick, said: “I contacted the housing association, and they said they would look into it and get back to me. But 48 hours passed, and nothing.

“I delivered her some electric heaters, which are expensive to run.

“But I caught her carrying a saucepan of boiling water to the bathroom – and she said that the engineer had told her to do this.

“Metropolitan housing knew she had only recently come out of hospital.”

Mr Braddick spoke to the South London Press about his mother’s situation. The South London Press then contacted Metropolitan. By March 7, she had a new boiler installed.

Mr Braddick said: “Thanks to the South London Press for your help, without which I don’t think this would have happened as quickly.”

A spokesman from Metropolitan said: “Heating repairs are a top priority for us, particularly at this time of year.

“We have been experiencing unprecedented demand for our services due to the recent severe weather conditions.

“Nonetheless, Ms McKenna’s experience fell short of our usual standards and we apologise for any discomfort and inconvenience she or her relatives have had.

“When our contractor attended Ms McKenna’s home, they identified that her boiler needed to be replaced, and capped it off while arrangements were made to replace it.

At this point, temporary heaters should have been offered to Ms McKenna, and alternative accommodation discussed with her.

“We are looking into all the issues raised in this case and once it is resolved, we will consider how she can be compensated.

“She confirmed to us that she does not wish to temporarily move out of the property and that she has adequate temporary heating.”

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