A RETIRED Worcester man has had to endure two weeks living in a flat without gas or electricity during the coldest weather spell of the year.

Former painter and builder Richard Broughton (right), aged 61, said when he moved into his new freezing cold Northfield Street home in the Arboretum, on Wednesday, January 12, he found that there was no heating.

With overnight temperatures falling to as low as 2C (35.6F) Mr Broughton said he ran up a mobile phone bill of over £40 from just contacting British Gas in an attempt to be connected.

"My partner is a retired nurse. She said I was lucky not to have suffered hypothermia," he said.

Besides not having any central heating, Mr Broughton said he has also been unable to use the cooker to prepare hot meals.

"I've been going across the road to the pub each day," he added.

Mr Broughton said he was relieved when the electricity was finally connected on Wednesday afternoon. Thankfully, Nexus Housing, which manages the property, had provided him with two small heaters.

Liz Staveley, Nexus Housing director said: "Because the market is deregulated it is down to the individual who they choose to buy their supply from.

"We would not always know whether the existing supplier had disconnected the supply. We try to find out from the previous tenants but they don't always tell us."

A spokesman for British Gas said: "We are truly sorry for the frustration which this has caused Mr Broughton.

However, this delay could have been largely avoided if his housing association had informed us that he was moving in. Once Mr Broughton made us aware of his situation, we took action to assist.

"We arranged for emergency credit to be placed on his meters to minimise disruption to his supply and cards have been issued to him.

"As Mr Broughton would prefer to have credit meters instead of the prepayment type, we are arranging for this to happen at the earliest possible opportunity."