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Gas works due to begin in Droitwich Spa High Street next week will be watched carefully by the town's MP, Peter Luff. He warned that recent experience in Fernhill Heath gave him "deep concern" about the competence of National Grid, the company with responsibility for the work

In a meeting with National Grid due to be held on Wednesday of next week, the Mid Worcestershire MP will demand that the works are "monitored with much greater care than the disastrous gas main replacement in Fernhill Heath over Christmas." He will also renew his call for compensation for the traders in Fernhill Heath whose businesses were devastated by what he described as "the gross incompetence of National Gird and its contractors."

Commenting, Peter said,

"I understand that different contractors are to be used in Droitwich to those used in Fernhill Heath. I will demand that they are much more effectively supervised this time. The works in Fernhill Heath were begun without proper local consultation and dragged on for many weeks more than the original estimate.

"Throughout that time, National Grid showed no understanding of the devastation they were causing to the affected businesses. Indeed, the sharp reduction in custom those traders experienced has never fully recovered and still no compensation has been paid to the businesses most affected.

"This catastrophic failure must not be repeated in Droitwich. I will be asking the company for weekly progress reports and a much more generous and commercially sensitive approach to compensation to the High Street's traders, especially if the works overrun.

"I will also be renewing my call for compensation to be paid to the traders of Fernhill Heath who were the innocent victims of some of the worst incompetence and indifference I have seen from a major company towards small businesses.

"National Grid must understand the crucial importance of getting these works right. Droitwich cannot afford a repeat of the Fernhill Heath saga."


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