Vincent Cable MP, St Margaret’s councillors and local traders have protested to the gas infrastructure company, National Grid plc, at what Vincent Cable called “mind bogglingly incompetent project management”.

The work – replacing gas mains – started in the spring without any warning; was repeatedly interrupted; and then abandoned. It was due to restart on 1st June and signs advertising the fact were displayed, discouraging shoppers. But nothing happened. The workers have never appeared.

Vincent Cable has written to the company’s Chief Executive to protest and to demand that a senior project manager be put in charge to finish the work: “some of the utility companies make a habit of digging up roads and pavements for weeks on end. But this saga in St Margaret’s has gone on for months and is no nearer a resolution. The traders are furious since their livelihoods are on the line. There should surely be some financial sanction when utilities cause unnecessary inconvenience and loss to communities as National Grid is doing.”

from local MP, Vince Cable