Anger over four-day delay for gas repair

David Herberts were left without a gas supply over Easter after reporting a leak on Good Friday
David Herberts were left without a gas supply over Easter after reporting a leak on Good Friday

A disabled Kirkby couple were left without heating for four days over Easter following a gas leak.

David and Pauline Herbert called the gas emergency number straight away after they smelled gas at their council home on Morven Avenue on Good Friday.

Mr Herbert, aged 74, said a gas engineer arrived and capped off their supply as a precaution that evening.

He said: “He said there was a leak upstairs and capped off the supply and put stickers on.”

Later that evening an engineer from contractor Tomlinsons, which provides a 24/7 service to Ashfield Distict Council, called and tested the gas .

Mr Herbert said: “They said there was a leak and left it at that and went. They left us with two electric heaters.

“On Saturday, Ashfield council was not able to put me in touch with Tomlinsons.

“I got the number off Google and when I rang Tomlinsons they said it was out of hours, someone had been out to see us and that was it.”

The couple say they were left without gas and unable to use their cooker or gas heating until yesterday morning.

Mr Herbert said: “I rang Tomlinsons again on Tuesday morning and they put me on to the council again.

“The lady there was helpful and sent someone straight away. Why didn’t they have anyone on standby?

“We were lucky the weather wasn’t cold. We only had a couple of electric fires and a microwave oven.

“We are both disabled and my wife is on dialysis.

“There are only certain kinds of food she can eat and they need to been cooked properly in an oven.

“At one time you would ring the gas board up and they would come and see to it.

Paul Parkinson, council director of housing and assets, said: “Out of hours, we operate a make-safe service, whereby we attend to emergency repairs and ensure the residents and property are left safe.

“A full repair is carried out once regular office hours resume. We attended Mr Herbert’s property on Friday following reports of a gas leak, and the gas supply needed to be capped.

“As it was the Easter bank holiday we were operating our out-of-hours service, we confirmed Mr Herbert had an electric shower to bathe and we also left him a temporary form of heating just in case.”