How Action Desk have helped The Star readers in June.
Umbrella for leaking toilet
A leaking flat had forced a Sheffield man to have buckets permanently in his bathroom – and use an umbrella each time he needed to use the toilet.
David Parkin had been complaining to Kier since January about the leak coming from the flat above his property on Morland Road, Herdings.
When the tenant moved out he had seen Kier staff visit – and hoped the work they carried out would repair the problem.
But as soon as a new tenant moved in a couple of weeks ago, the leaking roof started again.
Enough was enough for David – after reporting the problem to Sheffield Council again and seeing no action he contacted Action Desk.
David said: “It is leaking in four or five places.
“The water hadn’t been coming into my flat while the flat above was empty.
“It seems like as soon as they switch the water back on I have a leak coming from my bathroom ceiling.
“I’m mopping up every time I come home. I’ve got buckets everywhere and there is water dripping into my bath.
“They told me to use an umbrella when I use the toilet, which I am doing, but I shouldn’t have to.”
A Kier spokesman apologised to David and said they had been struggling to make contact with the new tenant to gain access to the flat.
He said they had now made contact and would be visiting the property to identify and fix the leak.
The spokesman said: “We would like to apologise to Mr Parkin as on this occasion our service hasn’t met the high standards that we would expect.
“We identified that a leak was coming from the vacant flat above and carried out repair work in April to a sink waste pipe and provided a new stop tap and damp treatment.
“Unfortunately, however, Mr Parkin experienced further problems and, as the flat above had become tenanted, we have struggled to gain access.
“We can confirm that contact has now been made with the new tenant and we will be visiting the property to identify where the leak is coming from and to fix it.”
Tearful carer forced to move
The father of a disabled man in Rotherham was angry and upset when he contacted Action Desk for help.
John Feeley’s son had been living in a nursing home on John Street, Thurcroft, for the last 22 years.
But suddenly his carer for all those years came to the family in tears – throwing the family into chaos.
John said the carer, who had already taken one downgrading to remain with the long-term residents, had been told by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust that she must choose between a further downgrading and a short-term contract to continue working in Thurcroft, or pick a post elsewhere.
John said: “Taking the option to move protects her pension and grade level.
“Against all instincts and dedications of 22 years, she could see no option but to leave.”
John said his son receives money from the Department of Work and Pensions and is willing to pay the extra money needed for his carer to remain.
He added: “The offer has been verbally rejected.
“It feels unfair and cruel that this successful relationship should be arbitrarily terminated by a refusal to consider my son’s right to choose the people giving him support.” John called for Action Desk and Rother Valley MP Sir Kevin Barron to help.
Action Desk contacted RDaSH, which provides care and support to the home on John Street.
A spokesman said the case is being looked into.
He said: “We are sorry that Mr Feeley and his son are not happy with the situation at John Street.
“A team of staff care for the individuals who live at John Street and they are all fully committed to meeting the tenants’ needs. We have carried out some staffing changes at this location as a result of commissioner requirements and any staff who have seen their pay reduced because of these changes will receive pay protection for up to two years.
They are also invited to apply for available posts advertised across the services RDaSH provides.
“We have received a complaint over the change in the service and we are looking into this and will feed our findings back to Mr Feeley.”
Compensation hope over firms
Consumers in South Yorkshire could be in line for compensation after the Financial Services Compensation Scheme declared two firms in default.
The FSCS could help consumers that have lost money as a result of their dealings with South Yorkshire Motor Homes Limited, of Rotherham Road, Dinnington, and Blake Independent Financial Planning Limited, Cockerham Hall, Huddersfield Road, Barnsley.
FSCS is the UK’s statutory compensation scheme for customers of regulated financial services firms.
A declaration of default means FSCS is satisfied a firm is unable to pay claims for compensation made against it.
That opens the way for customers of that firm to claim compensation.
The scheme is already paying compensation in respect of the firms.
Mark Oakes, head of communications for FSCS, said: “FSCS protects consumers around the UK when authorised financial services firms cease trading.
“It protects your deposits, investments, home finance and insurance, and it’s free for consumers to use.
“Our message to anyone who believes that they may be owed money as a result of their dealings with any of these firms is please get in touch, as we may be able to help you.”
n To make a claim with FSCS, contact the Customer Services Team on 0800 678 1100 or 020 7741 4100 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org