Family demand answers from Barnet Homes after boiler turned off

A mother and her two young children were left living in freezing temperatures for more than a week after an electrician working for her housing association turned her boiler off.

Anne-Marie Gibbins, of Underhill Court, High Barnet, spent nine days battling with housing association Barnet Homes to fix the problem before Christmas.

An electrician carried out routine checks on the boiler last Monday – but said it looked “corroded and rusty” and could be unsafe to use.

It was finally turned on yesterday night - but the full-time mother is furious her and her two children, Connor, nearly two and Rosie, six months, were left in wintry temperatures for so long.

The 26-year-old said: “It’s been a waiting game. I had a complete breakdown on the phone last week, it’s been very stressful.

“I’ve been wrapped up warm in jumpers but I’m worried about how it will affect the children. Connor might have asthma so this isn’t helping.

“I could barely bath my children. I had to take them to my mum or dad’s houses – but that’s really impractical just before bed.”

A contractor checked the gas meter was working on Monday night – but when another electrician turned up – he said he could not turn the boiler back on without consulting his boss.

Barnet Homes gave Ms Gibbins two heaters, which she has had to hide out of reach of her toddler son.

The mother-of-two was planning on having her family over on Christmas day and has already bought food in preparation, but feared she would have to cancel.

She added: “I’m dreading my heating bill this month as I’ve been using the heaters 12 hours a day.

“It’s been a very stressful and testing time. I didn’t know what else to do. I’m angry and upset.

“This could have wrecked my Christmas.”

A statement from Barnet Homes said: "Following a visit to Ms Gibbins property to undertake an annual gas safety check, some irregularities were discovered with the boiler installed in the property.

"In line with Gas Safe regulations and Barnet Homes Gas Safety Policy the boiler had to be disconnected to allow further investigations to be undertaken.

"Barnet Homes offered Ms Gibbins temporary heaters for the duration that the boiler would be disconnected. Unfortunately these were refused. Barnet Homes Gas Inspectors and MITIE supervisory staff along with gas engineers attended the property again yesterday to attempt to resolve the issue in the quickest time frame possible."

Comments (12)

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10:29am Wed 18 Dec 13

harvey_uk says...

So she wasn't left without heating, she just relied upon tax payer funds to get herself out of the situation. She can't have been short of money to get this sorted herself, after all she had got food for the Christmas family gathering at her tax payer funded accommodation.
So she wasn't left without heating, she just relied upon tax payer funds to get herself out of the situation. She can't have been short of money to get this sorted herself, after all she had got food for the Christmas family gathering at her tax payer funded accommodation. harvey_uk

12:15pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Not that Dave, another one. says...

That sounds a bit harsh, Harvey. Aside from what we know can be very expensive costs to call people out for this sort of thing, it strikes me that the chap who turned it off in the first place has some explaining to do, if the solution after 8 days' wait, and what looks like a lot of faffing around, was simply to turn it back on again. And wouldn't you expect a quicker service from the council, given that small children were living there?
That sounds a bit harsh, Harvey. Aside from what we know can be very expensive costs to call people out for this sort of thing, it strikes me that the chap who turned it off in the first place has some explaining to do, if the solution after 8 days' wait, and what looks like a lot of faffing around, was simply to turn it back on again. And wouldn't you expect a quicker service from the council, given that small children were living there? Not that Dave, another one.

5:46pm Wed 18 Dec 13

local news addict says...

harvey_uk wrote:
So she wasn't left without heating, she just relied upon tax payer funds to get herself out of the situation. She can't have been short of money to get this sorted herself, after all she had got food for the Christmas family gathering at her tax payer funded accommodation.
hello Harvey as you can gather from the surname yes I am anne maries mother why would she pay out of her own money to solve the problem if she is a council tenant and as for the question of no heating that's right she had no heating and hot water for 9 days and actually she herself was a taxpayer what that has to do with it I do not understand your attitude and Iceland is a great place to shop for xmas food on a budget
[quote][p][bold]harvey_uk[/bold] wrote: So she wasn't left without heating, she just relied upon tax payer funds to get herself out of the situation. She can't have been short of money to get this sorted herself, after all she had got food for the Christmas family gathering at her tax payer funded accommodation.[/p][/quote]hello Harvey as you can gather from the surname yes I am anne maries mother why would she pay out of her own money to solve the problem if she is a council tenant and as for the question of no heating that's right she had no heating and hot water for 9 days and actually she herself was a taxpayer what that has to do with it I do not understand your attitude and Iceland is a great place to shop for xmas food on a budget local news addict

6:18pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Agibbins87 says...

I am Anne-Marie and feel the need to put my story across as being slated like that from Harvey (who doesn't even know me) is unacceptable! As the reporter states I was left with two fan heaters - I did not refuse them like Barnet homes statements says.. I had to put these up high to stop my son touching them so defeats the object of putting them on at all as you don't feel any benefit.... Why would I pay to fix the problem out of my own money when it is the councils responsibility? Also I have paid tax for a quite a few years before becoming a full time mum and do intend on going back to work and not 'relying on tax payers funds' once my daughter is a bit older, Thank you very much!
I am Anne-Marie and feel the need to put my story across as being slated like that from Harvey (who doesn't even know me) is unacceptable! As the reporter states I was left with two fan heaters - I did not refuse them like Barnet homes statements says.. I had to put these up high to stop my son touching them so defeats the object of putting them on at all as you don't feel any benefit.... Why would I pay to fix the problem out of my own money when it is the councils responsibility? Also I have paid tax for a quite a few years before becoming a full time mum and do intend on going back to work and not 'relying on tax payers funds' once my daughter is a bit older, Thank you very much! Agibbins87

7:37pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Neiltheboss says...

Anne-Marie

Just ignore ignorant comments. Some people just love confrontation.

Electric heaters are damned expensive to run. Council have a lot to answer for really.

Hope you have a great Christmas
Anne-Marie Just ignore ignorant comments. Some people just love confrontation. Electric heaters are damned expensive to run. Council have a lot to answer for really. Hope you have a great Christmas Neiltheboss

8:02pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Agibbins87 says...

Neiltheboss wrote:
Anne-Marie

Just ignore ignorant comments. Some people just love confrontation.

Electric heaters are damned expensive to run. Council have a lot to answer for really.

Hope you have a great Christmas
Thanks, you too!
[quote][p][bold]Neiltheboss[/bold] wrote: Anne-Marie Just ignore ignorant comments. Some people just love confrontation. Electric heaters are damned expensive to run. Council have a lot to answer for really. Hope you have a great Christmas[/p][/quote]Thanks, you too! Agibbins87

11:46pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Mr. Datchery says...

Brilliant to see harvey-uk ,one of the most persistent vile little trolls on this site, being challenged. He (I presume) and others of his kind have a Tourettes-like reaction to certain words and phrases. Anyone who lies in social housing is some how stealing his "taxes". Anybody who is unemployed is feckless and all immigrants are illegal. I'm certain if we knew who they were it would be very easy to prove how much they were benefitting from the state as anyone else. Surprisingly this newspaper never seems to censure them.
Brilliant to see harvey-uk ,one of the most persistent vile little trolls on this site, being challenged. He (I presume) and others of his kind have a Tourettes-like reaction to certain words and phrases. Anyone who lies in social housing is some how stealing his "taxes". Anybody who is unemployed is feckless and all immigrants are illegal. I'm certain if we knew who they were it would be very easy to prove how much they were benefitting from the state as anyone else. Surprisingly this newspaper never seems to censure them. Mr. Datchery

7:12pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Mr E Dance says...

Confirmation of Mr D's observations about Harvey being a vile right wing troll.
He only deals in hate when commenting. Sad.
Confirmation of Mr D's observations about Harvey being a vile right wing troll. He only deals in hate when commenting. Sad. Mr E Dance

10:49pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Mr. Datchery says...

Mr E Dance wrote:
Confirmation of Mr D's observations about Harvey being a vile right wing troll.
He only deals in hate when commenting. Sad.
Thank you Mr. Dance I sometimes wonder if I am the only person who feels this way about him and his kind. I note that there are 8 negative reports about his latest comment. I'm sure if we all kept a look out for his comments and reported them, as I always do, we could, over time,stop them completely. My only argument with you is that he is not 'sad' just profoundly ignorant. Look at his comment and my response under 'man jailed for burglary spree' for a prime example.
[quote][p][bold]Mr E Dance[/bold] wrote: Confirmation of Mr D's observations about Harvey being a vile right wing troll. He only deals in hate when commenting. Sad.[/p][/quote]Thank you Mr. Dance I sometimes wonder if I am the only person who feels this way about him and his kind. I note that there are 8 negative reports about his latest comment. I'm sure if we all kept a look out for his comments and reported them, as I always do, we could, over time,stop them completely. My only argument with you is that he is not 'sad' just profoundly ignorant. Look at his comment and my response under 'man jailed for burglary spree' for a prime example. Mr. Datchery

6:56pm Sat 21 Dec 13

mallowe says...

The fact is that Mitie are useless. They do not communicate properly and in the event have lost the contract with Barnet Homes. The use of electric heaters is a temporary solution designed for short term use and NOT for days at a time and Ms Gibbins has clear grounds to complain. Regarding Harvey_uk's clear malicious comments, these are an outrage and have been designed to cause distress and should be removed forthwith.
The fact is that Mitie are useless. They do not communicate properly and in the event have lost the contract with Barnet Homes. The use of electric heaters is a temporary solution designed for short term use and NOT for days at a time and Ms Gibbins has clear grounds to complain. Regarding Harvey_uk's clear malicious comments, these are an outrage and have been designed to cause distress and should be removed forthwith. mallowe

11:18am Tue 24 Dec 13

You don't fool me says...

Agibbins87 wrote:
I am Anne-Marie and feel the need to put my story across as being slated like that from Harvey (who doesn't even know me) is unacceptable! As the reporter states I was left with two fan heaters - I did not refuse them like Barnet homes statements says.. I had to put these up high to stop my son touching them so defeats the object of putting them on at all as you don't feel any benefit.... Why would I pay to fix the problem out of my own money when it is the councils responsibility? Also I have paid tax for a quite a few years before becoming a full time mum and do intend on going back to work and not 'relying on tax payers funds' once my daughter is a bit older, Thank you very much!
I hope you and your family have a really great Christmas Anne-Marie, and do not give the vile little Troll another thought because scum like him are just not worth it.
[quote][p][bold]Agibbins87[/bold] wrote: I am Anne-Marie and feel the need to put my story across as being slated like that from Harvey (who doesn't even know me) is unacceptable! As the reporter states I was left with two fan heaters - I did not refuse them like Barnet homes statements says.. I had to put these up high to stop my son touching them so defeats the object of putting them on at all as you don't feel any benefit.... Why would I pay to fix the problem out of my own money when it is the councils responsibility? Also I have paid tax for a quite a few years before becoming a full time mum and do intend on going back to work and not 'relying on tax payers funds' once my daughter is a bit older, Thank you very much![/p][/quote]I hope you and your family have a really great Christmas Anne-Marie, and do not give the vile little Troll another thought because scum like him are just not worth it. You don't fool me

12:21pm Tue 24 Dec 13

Agibbins87 says...

Thanks everyone for your kind words and wishes! I am disgusted that Harvey_UK is left to get away with some vile opinions/messaged on here, as I sure reported him! After all that's not just an 'opinion' of his!
I received a lovely bunch of flowers yesterday from Barnet Homes sincerely apologising for all the delay. Which I must say I was quite shocked at them doing such a personal touch but I suppose that's what an email from the MP and a call from a reporter will do to them...
Thanks everyone for your kind words and wishes! I am disgusted that Harvey_UK is left to get away with some vile opinions/messaged on here, as I sure reported him! After all that's not just an 'opinion' of his! I received a lovely bunch of flowers yesterday from Barnet Homes sincerely apologising for all the delay. Which I must say I was quite shocked at them doing such a personal touch but I suppose that's what an email from the MP and a call from a reporter will do to them... Agibbins87

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