Developer behind gas mains chaos which leaves 6,000 without heating, hands out sandwiches!

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The developer behind the fractured gas main which has left 6,000 people without gas for three days in Ampthill, Maulden and Clophill has come up with a novel way to say sorry - sandwiches.

And the gesture has not met with approval on social media.

Bloor Homes is to provide 30 platters of mixed sandwiches for residents which can be picked up at Parkside Hall, Woburn Street from 7,30pm tonight.

On social media Patricia Gooch said: “ I don’t mean to be ungrateful, but most of us can manage sandwiches without gas. Hot food for the elderly and those with young children would have been a better gesture.”

And Cameron Blakely said: “Award for worst marketing/ relations dept goes to Bloor Homes.... sandwiches.... brilliant..... exactly what everyone doesn’t need: walk in the cold,from a cold home to get a cold sandwich.”

Gas supplies have been off in the villages since Tuesday when a gas main was fractured on a development in Ampthill.

The main has now been repaired but National Grid engineers have had to ensure the gas supply to all 6,000 homes is manually shut off before they can start manually switching it back on again.

The Christmas lights switch on due in Ampthill on Sunday has also been disrupted.

To avoid extra pressure on the electricty supply as people use heaters to keep warm, the lights will be switched on at 4.30pm before being switched off again at 6pm until the gas supply is back up and running.

This morning the National Grid started the process of getting gas back into the network with the aim of restoring supplies to most properties over the weekend.

The process must be done in stages in the following sequence:

Clophill

Maulden

Ampthill

We are currently visiting properties in Clophill to switch them back on gas.

To restore supplies each property must be visited and it’s important that people arrange for someone to be in so engineers can switch the gas back on and ensure it is flowing properly.

It’s very important that people do not attempt to switch on their own gas supplies they should wait for an engineer to visit and do this to ensure it is flowing safely to their gas appliances.

If people need to leave their homes they are asked to please let National Grid know so they can make arrangements with them regarding access to their properties. Contact 0845 835 1111.

As part of the restoration operation engineers are also digging a number of excavations in the area and pedestrians and particularly mobility scooter users are advised to take extra care around these.

An incident room has been set up in Maulden Village Hall where people can find out more information.

An additional advice centre has also been set up by Central Bedfordshire Council at the Ampthill Day Centre, Houghton Close, MK45 2TG, which will be open from 8.30am to 4.30pm today (Friday November 18).

National Grid is working with the police, Central Bedfordshire Council the NHS and other organisations including voluntary groups to ensure elderly and vulnerable residents are being identified and cared for.

If people know of an elderly or vulnerable resident, we’re asking them to please contact our enquiries team on 0845 835 1111 or visit Maulden Village Hall People can also do this at the Ampthill Day Centre between 8.30am and 4.30pm tomorrow (Friday 18 November).