OAPs' misery as heating stops in Newport tower block

OAPs' misery as heating stops in Newport tower block

COLD: Resident Reg Tamplin, 80

'FREEZING': Resident John Campbell, 63

NO HEATING: Hillview flats on the Gaer

First published in Video South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A DELIVERY "mix-up" meant around 100 pensioners were left with no central heating on the coldest night of the year.

As temperatures in Newport plummeted to –5C, residents of Hillview, a tower block in the Gaer, were left in the cold overnight on Monday because the oil supply at the Newport Council-owned flats has run out.

The heating supply at Hillview at around 7pm and the majority of flats are occupied by pensioners.

Resident John Campbell, 63, described his home as “absolutely freezing”.

He spent Tuesday in a city centre pub in an effort to keep warm.

Mr Campbell blasted: “Luckily I had a spare duvet last night and could leave my flat.

But there are lots of vulnerable people who can't get out to somewhere warmer.

“The most amazing part is that nobody phoned to tell us what was happening or checked to see if residents were okay. Some older people could have fallen alseep in the night and not woken up.”

Mr Campbell said that council staff told him that the complex heating system had run out of oil.

“Why wasn’t there a contingency plan? Especially at this cold time of year,” he added.

There are 10 floors at the block. Reg Tamplin, 80, has been in his flat 20 years. He said that he feels let down by the council.

Mr Tamplin said: “I felt really uncomfortable wearing three layers of clothes and a scarf all day.”

John Morgan, 70, said: “It’s freezing. I’ve had to sit by a heater all day.”

A Newport City Council spokesman said two oil drops were ordered before Christmas - one for Hillview, expected for Monday and the other for Greenwood flats the following day.

The council say there was a "mix-up" with the oil company and supplies were delivered to Hillview on Tuesday and Greenwood on Monday.

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