WATER AGENCY ANGERS TOWN
Uproar over unannounced work
Scottish Water has been forced to apologise after failing to give advance warning about major roadworks.
Residents in Dalry were stunned when workmen arrived unannounced last week to instal a new water main.
Outraged community councillors discovered the work could take as long as five weeks to complete, causing chaos in the town and hurting local businesses.
Following the outcry, Scottish Water have moved the goalposts and now aim to have the work completed by the end of next week.
They have even offered to donate £500 to the community as a goodwill gesture.
Community council chairman Andi Holmes said: “They have taken big steps to solve the problems, they just needed a poke. It should never have happened in the first place.
“It was only when my phone call was put through that they realised they hadn’t given any notice.
“Bill Elliot, their communities manager, has made a great effort to rectify the mistakes.”
Mr Holmes compared the efforts made by the water agency to those of ScottishPower which has also been working in the town.
He said: “ScottishPower came to the community council, they spoke to us beforehand and did a presentation in the town hall. It wasn’t perfect but they made a big effort to make sure people knew what was going on and we were happy with it.
“Scottish Water turned up and started digging holes. All we knew was when they put a letter through the door saying the water would be off for five hours that day. They hadn’t told anyone. I phoned Scottish Water and obviously word got round that they hadn’t spoken to anyone. They sent emails but they should have done that weeks ago.”
No homes have been left permanently without water but some are on a temporary supply and have to boil water before use. Bottled water is available for elderly and vulnerable people.
The work has also had a major impact on local businesses.
Lyndsay Wright from Wright’s Shop said: “We’re on one side of the road and the Clachan Inn is on the other side and we were right in the middle of the control area so people weren’t able to stop.
“Hopefully by the weekend people should be able to park. They should have told us all this beforehand.”
Scottish Water’s Mr Elliot, said: “Normal procedure is that customers are notified of any shut off in advance, via hand delivered postcards, and we apologise to any customers in the area who did not receive a postcard detailing the disruption to their supply and the lack of notification for this essential work.”
The £58,000 operation will instal a 250 metre stretch of pipeline in Main Street to “improve security” of supply.
Mr Elliot said engineers would be working over the weekend aiming to finish work by next Friday.
Complaints Unhappy residents Will Adam, Andi Holmes, Maggi Kaye and Susan Currie