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Family hit the roof over council response
3:40pm Monday 29th September 2008 in Penhill News
A PENHILL family has hit the roof over the council's response to a leak in their house that led to the ceiling collapsing.
Despite pleading with council officials to send a workman to fix the water dripping into their kitchen the Kent family, of Ramsbury Avenue, were told they would have to wait because an appointment was already booked for them in three days time.
After waiting patiently, unable to shower in their home, the family watched in horror as their kitchen ceiling collapsed in front of them.
The saga began when the family had a new shower fitted on Wednesday, August 13.
Mum, Louise, said: "Two days later we noticed a drip coming through into the kitchen.
"The plumber came back and said we needed it resealed, so we called up and they said we could have an appointment on the Tuesday.
"I thought that would be okay, but on the Saturday the leak got a lot worse. I called up the council again but they said that because we had the appointment booked on Tuesday we couldn't have an emergency appointment.
"I was holding the phone up to the leak so the man could hear it was gushing out, but he just said - sorry, I don't make the rules."
After stopping all showers and baths in the house over the weekend, the leak did eventually stop.
But when Tuesday came it did not bring the relief Louise was hoping for.
She said: "It was just after 8am and I was sitting there waiting for the council to come round when the ceiling just caved in.
"It was complete panic. I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. I have to say that after that the council were really good - they got someone out straight away to check it out, but it was a bit late by then."
The ordeal is still not over for the family, who are still waiting for a hole in their bath to be fixed before they can stop relying on relatives and neighbours to provide them with showering facilities.
They will also have to wait several weeks without a ceiling until the beams have dried out.
A spokeswoman for Swindon Council said: "We sympathise with the Kent family and are trying to resolve the problem as soon as possible.
"Unfortunately the situation was not classified as an emergency when Mrs Kent contacted us on a Saturday afternoon.
"Maintenance workers have since visited the property to assess the work required.
"It is anticipated that work will start on fitting a new bath and ceiling on Monday, 1 September. We apologise for the inconvenience caused and assure the family that this work is being treated as a matter of urgency."