A COUNCIL tenant has been given two giant industrial heaters that are so bright she can’t see the television – and that cost more to run than her weekly food bill.
Mum-of-two Amber Quinn has been living without central heating in her home for over a year.
But the massive heaters wheeled into her home in Prestonpans, East Lothian, are almost as big as her children and she daren’t leave them alone for fear of burns from the blast of heat.
The two devices are crammed into the tiny living room of her ground floor flat and cost almost £45 a week in electricity even when they are only on for a few hours in the evening.
Amber, 24, says that for the past year, Liam, six and Amy, five, often had to sit around in their coats or dressing gowns just to stay warm.
When the clunky machines – marked clearly Highland Plant Hire – were wheeled into her living room last week, Amber was left completely shocked.
She said: “I couldn’t believe it when they produced these industrial heaters. They’re like massive camp heaters.
“Yes, they heat up the house, but they can’t be safe around young children, the heat and light they generate fills the house. When they’re on you can’t see the TV.”
She said: “Even when someone from the council visited afterwards, they said ‘I’m not sure if these are too safe around kids. I’ve also been getting really bad headaches the last week so I’m not sure if that because of the massive glow from them.
“It’s shocking. It’s costing about £40 to £45 a week in electric. It’s costing me more to pay for the electricity than it does to feed the children each week.
“Last week a council worker visited to see the situation and put £40 in the electricity meter for me because I had no money left to top it up.”
Amber has been living in temporary accommodation since January last year and been asking for central heating to be put in since she first moved in.
East Lothian Council operate a private sector leasing scheme which leases properties from landlords on a three month to five year basis.
The properties are then used as temporary or medium-term accommodation with all landlords receiving guaranteed rent, quarterly in advance.
An East Lothian Council spokesman refused to comment on specific details but said: “Individual and families are housed in temporary accommodation until a suitable permanent home can be provided.
“During this time the council works with housing applicants to advise appropriate options.”