Two pounds a pittance for heating and hot water chaos

(21 August, 2019) Editorials

It's a heating problem that becomes a work problem, a health problem, and a money problem

14975Southwark Council leader Peter John

Two pounds is a pittance for a heating and hot water rebate – and arguing that district heating is so cheap it’s all residents have lost out on during outages is just laughable.

Unfortunately it sounds like once again it’s the Aylesbury tenants, and homeless people trapped in temporary accommodation, who are left shouldering the cost of having basic utilities you can’t rely on.

£2 seems a ludicrous amount for people who say they’ve had weeks at a time with barely any warm water.

Even if it is the case that these outages were just a few hours here and there, if they always come at peak times and people can never have a hot shower before work, very quickly you’ve got a heating problem that becomes a work problem, a health problem, and a money problem.

Paying out compensation to only the most affected makes sense – until you realise how many people are left scrabbling about creating makeshift showers from water boiled in the kitchen.

Southwark is spending millions patching up its district heating, and longer term will be spending an eye-watering amount revamping the whole thing to ‘future proof’ the ageing system.

A few extra pounds in residents’ accounts would go a long way – especially on the Aylesbury where there’s no chance the problems are going to be completely fixed, for good, anytime soon.

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