THE head of a major residents' group has described an emergency committee set up to look into the East Barnet gas crisis as “window dressing”.

On Thursday Barnet Council's ad hoc scrutiny committee gave their recommendations after hearing evidence about the problems which affected 3,000 homes over Christmas.

Among them were for the council to take control of communications in the future and to push for more compensations for residents, although they will not ask for more for businesses.

However, no residents turned up to hear the second meeting, with many criticising councillors for not publishing the draft report publicly.

David Howard, the chairman of the Federation of Residents' Associations in Barnet (FORAB), gave evidence at the first meeting.

He said: “It was window dressing with an election in mind. It was a good opportunity to blame somebody else and be seen to be doing something when most of the problems are resolved.

“They put National Grid on trial, but I think Barnet should have been as well as they were supposed to be in control of the incident and they failed.”

He added: “I think they should have taken control of the communications. However, one question is would they be able to get the information out of the other companies?

“If they are going to take over the airwaves they have to have something to say.”

The final report of the committee will be published before the Annual Full Council meeting on April 20.