HUNDREDS of homes in Melksham and Westbury could lose their gas, electric and cable TV services when a furious construction boss digs up roads to reclaim equipment after claiming he has not been paid for work to install them.
Aidan Nolan says he is owed £136,000 after his Northampton firm Personnel on Assignment (POA) was contracted to put in ducting in June, ready for Virgin Media cable television and fibre optic broadband to be installed.
Now he plans to reclaim his materials from under the ground, and intends to deliver leaflets to residents in the two towns to warn them about his actions.
He plans to retrieve his possessions, including sand, Tarmac and garden boxes used to house fibre optic cabling, from Bowmans Court in Melksham on Monday, December 12 before moving on to do the same in Kingfisher Drive, Westbury.
He wants householders to be warned that the work could damage gas and electricity supplies.
In the leaflet Mr Nolan, 56, director of POA, warns residents: “Due to non-payment to POA for works carried out on the installation of your Virgin Media supply, it is our intention to return to your street to dig up, and retrieve, all property belonging to POA.
“As we are the company who paid for all labour and materials on this contract, we now must retrieve our costs.
“We apologise in advance for the mess and disruption this will cause.
“We also apologise for the possible loss of your service as it will take a very considerable amount of time to reinstall in the event of accidental damage caused by our plant.”
Mr Nolan, who says he is on the verge of bankruptcy, claims the majority of the money is owed to him by Chester construction firm Inin, and that its bosses have repeatedly said to him it cannot pay him because they in turn have not been paid by another firm, McNicholas, which was subcontracted by Virgin Media.
“This is common in the construction industry. Small companies like mine are exploited by bigger ones all the time and I have had enough of it,” he added.
“People who work for me have mortgages to pay and families to feed but they can’t do that if I can’t pay them.
"I am giving them one final chance to pay me before going ahead with the digging."
Gary Gragg, 48, who lives in Bowmans Court, Melksham, said: “It was a nightmare when they were here so to hear that they are coming back is the worst news.
“They dug up the whole street and nobody was happy about it.”
Inin director Mark Bloomfield and Virgin Media declined to comment when contacted by the Wiltshire Times this week.
However, a spokesman from McNicholas said: “McNicholas can confirm that they contracted with Inin to undertake the works in question and that subsequently Inin employed a contractor, POA, to undertake elements of this project.
“We can confirm that the works for McNicholas were completed by Inin satisfactorily and our account is up to date.
“We propose that POA should continue to discuss this matter with Inin and to better understand this dispute we will now engage with our principal sub-contractor Inin.”
Robin Murray , Reporter / RobinNewsWilts