ANGRY residents who lost their gas supply in December have demanded better treatment from National Grid.

Around 40 residents came to a meeting in Blueberry's Restaurant in East Barnet Road on Friday to discuss the issue of compensation.

The residents think the £30 a day offered is not enough and are unimpressed by gas supplier National Grid's compensation rules.

Residents can also only claim the £30 if their supply was interrupted for a full 24 hours.

They also felt it was unfair that compensation was not granted for days when they were connected to gas supplies but the pressure was so low that they could not cook.

People at the meeting also complained that National Grid did not distribute leaflets or letters at the start of the crisis, despite being asked to do so by Barnet Council.

Chipping Barnet MP, Theresa Villiers gave her support at the meeting and has since written to National Grid and the water company Viola to ask them to address residents' concerns.

The meeting was also attended by Cllr Joanna Tambourides, Conservative Candidate for East Barnet ward, Barry Evangeli, and representatives of the local police team.

After the meeting Mrs Villiers said people had expressed real concern that £30 would not cover their expenses, especially as it failed to distinguish between the size of property.

“The extra bills faced by a family in a larger property would be considerably more than for a single person living in a small flat," she said.

However, the meeting was not entirely negative. Many residents praised the National Grid staff who worked round the clock, some giving up their Christmas holidays, to fix their gas supply.

Mrs Villiers said people had called the engineers and other staff professional and said they had behaved with consideration and kindness.

National Grid spokesman Antony Quarrell said compensation payments were determined by the regulator (Ofgem)and can be paid via the supplier or National Grid.

He said: “In this instance National Grid has chosen to pay compensation directly and has written to affected customers directly.

“This has been done to help ensure customers receive their compensation as quickly as possible.

“Those customers who haven’t responded to our letters will be compensated via their supplier.”

In addition to the statutory compensation, the company has also offered residents payments of £100 a day for both Christmas Day and Boxing Day per household where customers were planning to be at home on these dates.

Mr Quarrell added: “It is important to stress that this is not part of the compensation package and was a goodwill gesture by National Grid.”

If people have queries about compensation they can call 0845 605 6677.