PENSIONERS in an east Cleveland village are preparing for the next battle in their war with Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council over replacement windows.

Residents at Shepherd Court and Fenton Street, Boosbeck, have asked the council to replace secondary glazing which they say is dangerous.

The problem lies with cleaning the windows, which involves pensioners clambering on to kitchen units and sinks and climbing over baths and toilets to remove the large panels of glass to be cleaned. They then have to repeat the exercise to put the glazing back.

The residents say this is dangerous, and some have even been injured.

The pensioners' fight has the backing of east Cleveland councillors Steve Kay and Bruce Mackenzie.

Earlier this month, the residents accompanied the councillors to a meeting of the council's housing advisory committee.

They were told the council could not afford to replace the windows and was waiting until a new company - which woulddeal with housing in the borough - was formed early next year.

Now, resident Mary Murphy, 77, has decided to take the matter further by complaining to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Mrs Murphy, who was injured when she dropped a pane of glass on her leg and needed 14 stitches, said the council had taken too long to act, broken its promise, and was putting her and her neighbours in danger.

She said she was taking her complaint to the ombudsman because of the frustration she felt towards the council.

Coun Kay said he and Coun Mackenzie were wholeheartedly backing the campaign.

"The windows are undoubtedly dangerous and the council has failed to do anything about it, despite building up residents' hopes as long ago as 1993. In the year 2000, Redcar and Cleveland is still giving the request the thumbs-down.

"We have had complaint after complaint about these windows over the years. Shortage of money is not a good enough excuse when pensioners and the disabled are at risk.

"Hopefully the ombudsman will listen to residents and make the council renew the windows with a safer design.