We’re now several weeks into the east wing having no gas – for some residents this means they’re not able to cook except with the primitive electric hobs provided by National Grid, for others they have no hot water to wash.
We contacted the Estate Services Manager today to ask for action in three areas while the work to fix the gas supply is carried out as it appears that this work may take some time:
1. Information – many residents don’t feel like they know what is going on or how long the issues could take to be resolved. In this vacuum of hard facts, rumours spread. Can the residents be told what the real timescale is? The TRA will help spread news as it comes in, using our website, twitter and face to face chat. Perhaps a council officer could do a door knocking exercise at the affected homes to tell residents what is happening and to check on their individual circumstances and for specific cases of hardship.
2. Amelioration – could residents without hot water be offered better temporary heating (more heaters where needed) and perhaps the installation of an electric shower as a temporary measure in their homes? A plumber could install one of these in an hour or so per dwelling. If this isn’t possible could the council pay for them to get the use of shower facilities in a local gym or hotel? For the residents deprived of gas for cooking, could they have the temporary cooking facilities upgraded? I’ve been told its hard to prepare food properly with what they’ve been given.
3. Compensation – could residents be offered some payment towards extra electricity costs incurred while they are cooking and for some heating their homes with electricity? This has been raised as a serious issue for those on low incomes in particular. Some kind of goodwill payment on top of this that could cover an occasional meal in a cafe or restaurant would also give them some respite from the situation.
The video – how they bribed us in the 1980s to accept Gas privatisation – because private monopolies would never rip off the public would they?