A PENSIONER says the untreated damp problem in her Falmouth council flat is like something out of a Charles Dickens book.

Barbara Berriman, who suffers with arthritis, is so fed up with the condition of her flat that she is on the verge of leaving Cornwall.

"I've called the council probably a dozen times and I'm just left on the end of a phone. There are lots of damp issues and after the recent rain, it's just got worse."

Barbara, 69, has lived in the flat in Hayman Way, just off Trescobeas Road, for four and a half years.

"They knew when I first came here that I had problems with arthritis and also depression and vertigo, yet they haven't done anything to help me.

I do get depressed, it can be lonely living here and and the damp problem just makes it all worse. It's like something out of a Charles Dickens book, I've never known anything like it. This is the worst council I've known."

Barbara lived in London, where she worked as a nanny for the doctors' and surgeons' children in Great Ormond Street Hospital.

She later moved to Canterbury in Kent, before moving to Durham in the north.

"Those flats were so much nicer than this one. I don't think they should take a person from so far away unless they are going to be responsible for what they are - I told them about my issues when I arrived but it hasn't made any difference."

Barbara's flat, which she has predominantly painted in pink, had damp on the walls in both the bedroom and the living room on the day that the Packet visited.

The wall paper was peeling off in the living room and she had the heating turned up very high to try and keep the damp at bay.

"They did suggest to me once about having a dehumidifier but how much do they cost to run? I'm really considering just packing it all in and going back to London,"she said.

A spokesman from Cornwall Council said that they could not comment on individual cases, but added: "We offer advice to all our residents on how to keep their homes free of damp and condensation.

"Our team also works with residents to find solutions to any issues with damp and condensation so they can continue to maintain conditions in their homes."

Note from the editor: We have turned comments off on this story, as we have done on several this week, due to the thread being hijacked by a small number of people determined to argue among themselves, trade insults, and have discussions that have nothing to do with the article in question. Please use the comments facility in the way that it is intended - to discuss the article at hand. We will not tolerate personal insults between commenters and we will not hesitate to take this facility away if it continues to be abused by a handful of people.