A PENSIONER has claimed he had to spend a week in the cold due to a faulty heating system at his sheltered flat.

Eighty-year-old Tony Dale of Abbey Court, Popley, Basingstoke, told The Gazette that his boiler failed last Wednes-day and, despite a number of complaints, it had not been fixed a week later.

Mr Dale, who lives at the complex run by Sentinel Housing Group, said: "I have had no heat and no hot water. It is ridiculous. I am freezing at night and I'm so cold that I can't even think straight.

"I'm 80 years of age and I don't need this. I asked for a portable heater but did not get one."

Ben Giles, marketing and PR co-ordinator for Sentinel, said problems with gas central heating were dealt with by the contractor Central Heating Services.

He said contract workers had visited Mr Dale after he rang last Wednesday, and found the flat to be warm, with all but one radiator working.

A second visit last Friday revealed a fault with the heating control, for which parts have been ordered.

However, Mr Giles added that the contractors were not prepared to return to carry out the work "because the flat was so dirty".

He told The Gazette: "Mr Dale had previously been reluctant to accept help in keeping his flat clean but we have arranged for this now the problem has been identified."

Mr Dale has also been given a portable heater, and Mr Giles said: "As a result of this, we have instructed Central Heating Services that, if a tenant of a sheltered scheme is worried, they must be offered temporary heating."