Residents left with no heating due to system breakdown at Banana Flats

Faune Reid and her son Jack, neighbour Michelle Manson and MSP Ben McPherson. Picture; Neil Hanna
Faune Reid and her son Jack, neighbour Michelle Manson and MSP Ben McPherson. Picture; Neil Hanna
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HUNDREDS of residents in Leith’s “Banana Flats” are fuming after their heating and hot water broke down for the second time as temperatures plummeted towards zero.

For two days, families were left to wrap up while they were indoors and to wash in water boiled from the kettle as city council engineers worked to repair their heating system.

Angry residents in Cables Wynd House, Leith, said it was the second time their heating had been cut this month – and feared it happening again.

Faune Reid, a 25-year-old mum-of-one, said: “The way we’ve been treated is diabolical. This is the second time this has happened this month.

“I have a seven-year-old son who is disabled and I’ve been forced to sleep in his room because it’s been so cold. My room became damp. I contacted the council over and over again before they would actually do something about it.”

Another resident, Mark Duncan, 47, said: “It’s just ridiculous, we all pay our rent and our council tax and this is how we are treated. It’s just not good enough. The council offered us heaters but they just run the money on your meter down.

“I’ve had to miss work because I can’t get washed.”

The flats, which became famous when they featured in Trainspotting, are currently being controversially 
considered by Historic Environment Scotland for listed status. But all neighbours want is reliable heating and hot water systems.

John Deans, 40, a disabled resident, added: “I’m sick of this ongoing occurrence. There’s been a problem with the hot water in here for ages.”

Local political representatives also want reassurances the systems won’t be allowed to fail again.

Ben Macpherson, SNP MSP for Edinburgh Northern and Leith, said: “What the residents of Cables Wynd House have gone through recently is shocking – to be left without heating or hot water, during one of the coldest times of year, is totally unacceptable.

“In the short-term, the council needs to do all that it can to ensure that the heating system works reliably. I am committed to working together with the council to help make this happen, and have been in regular contact with them stressing the need for urgent action.”

Local councillor Adam McVey added: “Residents in Cables Wynd House have had a number of issues to deal with including the most recent issues relating to the 
building’s heating. I’m grateful to the council team for responding quickly and restoring the heating system in this instance but there is significant further work required.

“There is no doubt the building is in need of an update to improve the lives of residents.”

A spokesman for the city council said: “We apologise for the inconvenience caused to the residents of Cables Wynd. Our team were on the scene from Saturday and provided heaters to those affected.

“The issue was resolved on Monday morning and heating and hot water are now restored.

“Investigations are ongoing into the cause of the fault, however our staff will continue to monitor the situation.”

courtney.cameron@jpress.co.uk