A MOTHER of three young children said her daughter and baby son were showered with dust and plaster when the ceiling of their council home collapsed, despite assurances it was safe.

Kirsty Holmes, 24, said council plumbers refused to lift floorboards to look for a water leak, saying it was a “job for a joiner” despite a crack appearing in her living room ceiling and her boiler losing pressure.

Miss Holmes called the council on Thursday to explain the problem at her home in Thief Lane, and a plumber was sent out.

She said: “He didn’t lift the floorboards in the room above to find a leak because he said it was a job for a joiner. He said there was no pressure in the boiler, which is indicative of a leak somewhere, and he put the pressure up, but it went back down again.”

Another council plumber visited on Friday but was also unsuccessful, according to Miss Holmes. On Saturday, two more plumbers visited her home, saying they had found leaks in the toilet and sink.

“The plumber on Saturday also refused to lift the floorboards,” she said. “While they were working on Saturday they caused an even bigger crack in the ceiling. The pressure was back up on the boiler but by Saturday night it was so low there wasn’t even a pilot light.

On Sunday morning the plumber returned and isolated the problem to a kitchen radiator. However, before leaving he assured Miss Holmes the crack in the ceiling was safe and that it “would not come down”.

She said: “I was at home on Sunday afternoon and all I heard was my six-year-old daughter screaming and saying “the ceiling’s come down”. She was covered in dust and plaster. It just missed my eight-month-old son too.”

“My children have an expensive wooden toy kitchen which has been smashed to pieces by the weight of the plaster.”

Steve Waddington, assistant director of housing and public protection at City of York Council, said: “We apologise for the distress this incident has caused Mrs Holmes and her family. We have a responsibility for over 8,000 council tenants in York and the safety of these tenants is our absolute priority.

“We have carried out a thorough inspection of the property and council plumbers have established the cause of the leak. Arrangements have been made with Mrs Holmes to repair any damage to the property this week.”