A PENSIONER has branded the heating problems that she and her neighbours face as “ridiculous”.

Elderly residents living in five sheltered housing bungalows on Woodside Close, Ewloe, were left in the cold because of problems with their boilers.

Aston Cllr George Hardcastle has asked Flintshire Council for an investigation into the boilers being used in council houses.

He said: “The problem is that they are all combi-boilers with outside plastic pipes which freeze with condensation.

“It’s not acceptable because people are having to come out all the time to fix it.”

Vera Stanford, 88, has had to call the council out to repair the boiler three times in the last two weeks.

She lives on her own and has to repeatedly navigate the icy path outside her bungalow to pour hot water on the pipe to keep it from freezing.

She said: “The path around my bungalow is like glass. I went out the other day to sort the pipe out and my walking stick went one way and I went the other. If I hadn’t managed to grab onto the bin I would have fallen over.

“It’s ridiculous, what do I pay my council tax for if, at 88-years-old, I’m having to go outside to do this?”

The council advised Vera if she went away for Christmas she would need to turn her water and heating off.

She said:“I was due to visit my son for Christmas but I’m not going because my house would be like an ice box when I got back.

“I spent Christmas Day on my own. I was meant to visit see my grandchildren and great grandchildren, I don’t get to see them much.”

Vera spent the day knitting cardigans and hats for babies at the premature baby unit at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwydyn.

Rachel Goddard, 86, had her boiler pipe buried underground after it froze over in the freezing temperatures last January.

She said: “It’s freezing when the boiler’s not working, I think they all want lagging or putting underground.”

Cllr Hardcastle has asked Claire Budden, head of housing at the council, to look into the issue.

“I’m not happy about it,” he said. “They’ve all got the same problem. How many other council houses must be in the same situation?”

A spokesman for Flintshire Council said: “We are aware of the problems and the cause, which is the condensation pipe freezing in the extremely cold conditions.

“The boilers have been repaired and we will be monitoring their performance closely over the coming weeks.”