Family's fury over damaged cable

A FURIOUS Suffolk family today hit out at power giant 24Seven as their toddler son lives just metres from a damaged high-voltage cable.The cable came down during Sunday's storms, and has been lying on the ground near their home at Somersham, near Ipswich.

A FURIOUS Suffolk family today hit out at power giant 24Seven as their toddler son lives just metres from a damaged high-voltage cable.

The cable came down during Sunday's storms, and has been lying on the ground near their home at Somersham, near Ipswich.

However today the power company denied that it only regarded such incidents as emergencies if someone had been killed.

Tony and Lorraine Harrison live in Church Lane, Somersham, with their 22-month old son Lee.

On Sunday lunchtime power cables were blown down just metres from her house and she has been without power since then.

"It was 11.30am when the lights started flickering – we were losing power as I was ironing and by midday it had gone.

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"We called 24seven on the day and have called them every day since, but we've not heard anything.

"On the day the cables came down there were children playing close to them – my husband had to tell them the dangers of it and we have told 24Seven – but nothing has been done.

"We phoned them twice last night. They told us that if a child had died on the cables they would have come out.

"But they told us they only had one record of a call from our road, when we have phoned them regularly since Sunday.

"My husband was on the phone last night to them and when he asked for information, the person on the other end of the phone told him to turn on the television to find out!"

The cables are believed to be live – but until 24Seven turn up for the repairs, no one will know for certain.

A spokesman for 24Seven said the company would be trying to speak to Mr and Mrs Harrison today.

"We do prioritise calls, but we would not say someone has to die before something is regarded as an emergency," he said.

"And it's ridiculous for anyone to say people should follow what is happening on the televison.

"I shall be taking this up with a supervisor to see if this is really what was said – but we shall be contacting Mr and Mrs Harrison to find out the situation."

For the Harrisons, the biggest problem has been not knowing what is happening from 24Seven.

"Apparently they are prioritising streets with more houses. We only have six houses here so I think we are well down in the queue.

"It's been really hard since Sunday just keeping warm as it's getting very cold – it's as warm outside as it is inside at the moment.

"We've been getting flasks of tea and coffee from our neighbours as some of the houses in our road have power, but I'm getting pretty sick of coffee!"

"It's getting pretty dark by 4pm and my son is frightened by the candles which we've been lighting.

Although an estimated 90 per cent of the 300,000 homes affected across East Anglia have had power restored according to energy supplier 24Seven, thosands of people are still living life without electricity – including 1,222 in east Suffolk.

Mrs Harrison laughed when told of 24Seven's slogan 'Brilliant people running world wide utility services'.

"It's a load of rubbish – we've heard nothing else other than how great they are – they're behaving like robots."

No one from 24Seven was available to talk to The Evening Star today.

nThe company has a compensation scheme – but you have to fulfil their criteria to make a successful claim. The rules are:

"We don't pay compensation as often the cause of the problem is outside our control.

"But under our Guaranteed Standards of Service, we will make a payment if you are off supply for 18 hours continuously from the time you report the power cut to us.

"This is £50 for domestic customers and £100 for commercial customers.

We can't guarantee a constant supply, but will always get your power restored as quickly as humanly possible."

SOURCE: www.24sevennet.co.uk

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