Families in Highbury left with no heating or hot water during freezing fortnight

Hurlock House in Hurlock Street. Picture: Google

Hurlock House in Hurlock Street. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

Council tenants in Highbury have been left with no heating or hot water for the coldest two weeks of the year because of a gas leak.

Hurlock House in Hurlock Street. Picture: Google

Hurlock House in Hurlock Street. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

Nurten Kocaman, who lives in Hurlock House with her family of five, even had to spend her birthday morning mixing boiling water from an industrial-sized kettle with cold water so she could have a wash.

The town hall said it was the responsibility of Cadent, formerly National Grid Gas Distribution, both to fix the leak and to keep people informed of the situation.

The tenant management organisation (TMO) Blackstock also said it had been “starved of information” by Cadent.

But Nurten said no-one has been updating them, and the prospect of another week of freezing conditions is now a real concern.

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“We’ve got a three-bedroom flat here and they’ve just given us a big kettle and some fan heaters,” she told the Gazette. “Can you imagine? There’s five of us in here.

“We’ve got a little stove cooker that takes an hour to cook anything and I’m having to just cook pasta and things like that every day. I can’t use the oven.

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“My youngest is 15 but the neighbours upstairs have three little kids and so have the ones above them.

“No one has told us anything.”

The leak was found in the gas riser, which supplies the building and connects to the main gas networks, and Cadent’s contractors disconnected the supply for safety reasons.

Barbara Chapman from Blackstock TMO added: “It’s ridiculous, the gas people came on Saturday but didn’t do anything.

“We are doing all we can but we don’t know hot to fix a gas leak.”

A Cadent spokesman said: “Our engineers have been working to repair the pipe since then.

“Repairs to risers are complex and require us to carry out surveys, obtain permissions and also carry out testing operations.

“To test the repaired riser we also require access to all the flats involved and the earliest we have been able to arrange this is Thursday.

“We are keeping residents informed and are doing all we can to restore their gas supplies as soon as possible.”

A town hall spokeswoman added: “We’re concerned that residents are without gas supply in this very cold weather.

“The council is liaising with all parties involved with this issue, and we’re monitoring Cadent closely to ensure the best possible outcome for residents.”

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