AN elderly resident in a retirement housing community says he has “won his battle” to get his heating turned back on at night.

This comes after Philip MacDougall, 74, had raised concerns about Bolton at Home's property on Davenport Road, Halliwell, and their policy of switching off its communal boiler between midnight and 5am.

Mr MacDougall had been concerned about the effect this could have on the residents during “freezing cold nights”, many of whom are frail and vulnerable, and says is working on changing this approach.

He said: “It’s good that I won the battle with them because last night it was minus five degrees last night, I think a lot of people would have suffered.

“I can tell you now that the heating is back on and it’ll stay on!

“Can you imagine would it would have been like last night without the heating on?

“I don’t even want to think about it, people wouldn’t have coped!”

Mr MacDougall has been disputing the policy since October, when he first became aware that Davenport Road’s communal boiler was being switched off.

He had woken up in the night to find his home far colder than expected and found that he could not turn his heating on.

Mr MacDougall said that the residents pay £9.75 per week for heating, even in the summer months and so feels that they should have heating whenever residents feel they need it.

But Bolton at Home officials say the policy is designed to help keep residents bills low, though in Mr MacDougall’s case they have agreed to keep his heating turned on for the time being.

A spokesman said: “Communal boilers have been in place in some sheltered housing schemes for many years and timed heating programmes were originally set up following discussions with customers.

“Most people in these properties don’t have their heating on overnight, so by turning the boiler off when it isn’t needed we can keep customers’ energy bills lower and protect the environment.

“We appreciate individual customers may have specific needs and in this case are keeping the heating on and available throughout the night as a temporary measure while we find a permanent resolution.”