A long-time Richmond resident battling with a terminal cancer diagnosis has voiced his disbelief at a “complete lack of support” for residents affected by the ongoing gas outage.

Tony Fabian, who has lived in Sydney Road for ten years, had returned home from chemotherapy and was subsequently left without hot water or heating, along with thousands of other residents in the area.

The 60-year-old, who works in the film and tv industry, said: “My immune system was still affected by the chemo, so being in such a cold environment I managed to get myself a lung infection and Type A Influenza – I’m currently in an isolation ward in Kingston Hospital.

“My wife already managed to catch something off me and doesn’t want me coming home until I’m better, and I don’t really want her coming to see me either while I’m still ill.”

But the long-time resident said he had finally mustered the strength to call up Richmond Council to ask for an update on the situation and further advice – but was shocked by the lack of support or concrete information offered to residents.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Image by Cadent Gas

“It seems to be complete chaos,” he added.

“I called the council this morning and asked them what they were doing to support residents other than the free showers at Pools in the Park and the man I spoke to floundered, he couldn’t give me a straight answer.

“It seems ridiculous the council isn’t taking more responsibility to help residents – how can we be living in 2020 with such a lack of support when this sort of thing happens?

“You can’t expect people to live for over a week in near-freezing conditions."

Mr Fabian said he understood that the council was not liable for the repairs, but still felt it should be doing more to help its residents get by during the outage.

As of Thursday (January 30), work is still ongoing to remove water from the pipes after they were first flooded on January 23.

Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, responded: “As soon as we were made aware of the gas outage in Richmond, Council officers put pressure on Cadent, and subsequently UK Power Network Ltd, to ensure that all resources available to them were deployed in fixing the problem swiftly.

"We also pushed to make sure they were keeping residents informed. Myself and Sarah Olney MP met with senior represents from the two companies this morning for their reassurances that they are doing all they can.

“The responsibility for rectifying the gas outage is with Cadent's.

"However, the Council is working with the Red Cross and local providers , including voluntary sector organisations to ensure that vulnerable residents are supported during the outage, and identifying alternative accommodation if required.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Image by Cadent Gas

"Cadent have found accommodation for a number of vulnerable households who have come forward, and following Council pressure, UK Power Network also have offered all residents who do not have gas and electricity hotel rooms. "The Council has also opened pools on the park for anyone wanting to use a shower and through the Richmond Bid, urged local businesses to also consider offering their support.

"Since Friday the Council has updated thousands of residents throughout using social media, enewsletters, lamp post signage and importantly through the active ward councillors in the area.

“I do understand that this has been very challenging for the TW9 community.

"However, please be assured that the Council, Cadent Gas and UK Power Network are working together closely to ensure that gas and electricity are reconnected as soon as possible. However, this needs to be done safely and robustly so no further outages happen.

"I would like to thank everyone in Richmond and Kew for their own going support and patience during this time. Fingers crossed this will be all over in the next few days.”

Since the incident, Cadent Gas confirmed that at least 2,200 properties had been affected – with gas restored to 600 properties as of today.

70,000 litres of water have already been pumped out as part of the operation, which has seen engineers called in from other parts of the country.

A temporary base for customer services continues to be operated by Cadent from Richmond Hill Hotel.

Residents are asked to get in touch on 0345 835 1111 or via social media.