Shirley Mole with her daughter Kira, 4, in their Amble home.
Shirley Mole with her daughter Kira, 4, in their Amble home.

A mother has criticised a housing management company for failing to deliver an electric fire, which she believes has affected the health of her two young children.

Shirley Mole, from Amble, says the family has endured a torrid winter after it has taken Homes for Northumberland (HfN) a couple of months – and counting– to fit the heater.

The 48-year-old claims that youngsters Ben, seven, and Kira, four, have suffered coughs and colds as a result.

She says it has been so bad, the family has had to wrap themselves in blankets to keep warm in the living room.

“It is atrocious. I am appalled at the situation,” she said.

Shirley, from St Cuthbert’s Avenue, says that the fire was due to be fitted on the Friday before Christmas, but no one showed up.

The saga rumbled on into January, and Shirley claims she was let down again, with another no show. When staff from HfN did eventually come out, the fire could not be put in because of asbestos concerns.

She says this has been resolved and is expecting the job to be completed tomorrow.

“I hope they don’t let me down again or I will be straight in their office complaining,” she said.

“I thought it would be over and done with before Christmas, yet it is still going on.

“We have had to put cardboard over the gap and it has gone on for a number of months. My children have been ill and so have I. All of us have had coughs and colds.

“Instead of having a fire to keep us warm, we have had to rely on blankets.

“It had an impact on our Christmas too.”

Ian Johnson, director of property services at HfN, said: “Providing tenants with excellent customer service is a high priority for us and we take issues like this extremely seriously. We will be working closely with Shirley to investigate her concerns further.”