Cadent is carrying out essential gas mains replacement work across London, replacing ageing metal gas pipes with new plastic ones. Our role is to work closely with Cadent and their contractors to deliver a strong communications strategy, ensuring all affected communities and stakeholders know the benefits and critical nature of the works.
The work poses potential disruption to those living in the community and local businesses. With the risk of negative community reaction and opposition, we’re tasked with clearly articulating how Cadent is committed to delivering gas mains replacement works across London, particularly in high profile areas, in the safest and fastest way possible to local communities. While Cadent is making sure the customer experience of gas works is as non-disruptive as possible, it remains vital that the economic and community benefits of the gas mains replacement programme are promoted.
In granting Cadent permission to undertake the work, Transport for London and local authorities in multiple London boroughs asked for a significant commitment to stakeholder engagement.
Our targeted strategic approach concentrates on articulating the essential nature of these gas mains replacement works and developing mutual understanding and tolerance for the work amongst communities across London. We continue to explain the consideration given to residents and businesses in the planning of works and efforts to keep disruption to a minimum, while emphasising the long-term benefits for the capital. We have also implemented processes to protect Cadent’s reputation and minimise adverse reactions.
We created and maintain a robust communications narrative around the project’s community and safety considerations and are working with Cadent and contractor teams to ensure they live these values. Our team is continually producing promotional materials to explain the needs for the works and translate complex engineering information into concise explanations to generate understanding and acceptance from the public.
Public exhibitions, community liaison working group meetings and briefings relating to key developments for local MPs, councils, schools, businesses and the wider public are integral to our engagement strategy. This is underpinned by providing regular stakeholder updates through email and letters to mitigate risk of project delays and sustained stakeholder opposition.
To mitigate the risk of project delays, negative media coverage or sustained stakeholder opposition, we respond to stakeholder feedback, using the expertise and specialist information provided by Cadent project teams working across London.
This project is ongoing. So far, we have successfully helped Cadent articulate the importance of investing in London’s gas mains replacement programme to millions of stakeholders. Clear, concise, relevant and timely information and materials are being delivered every day. We have improved political, business and community stakeholder relationships with Cadent, as well as communication channels between Cadent and the city’s other key service providers.