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Power firm under fire again

PUBLISHED: 11:32 24 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:14 03 March 2010

BELEAGUERED power firm 24seven has come under fire again after villagers were left without electricity on three successive days.

The criticism came as an official report strongly condemned the company's performance during the power cuts crisis following October's storms, in particular its information and communications systems.

BELEAGUERED power firm 24seven has come under fire again after villagers were left without electricity on three successive days.

The criticism came as an official report strongly condemned the company's performance during the power cuts crisis following October's storms, in particular its information and communications systems.

Dozens of villagers – including a 98-year-old man – were left without power on three consecutive mornings because of an electrical fault.

The problem began on Thursday in Sudbourne, near Woodbridge, and affected between 30 and 40 residents.

Nigel Glithro, of Meadow Lands, Sudbourne, said most of the village was cut off in the early hours, but power was restored again after 9am. However, the following day at 6am the house was again plunged into darkness. "We rang them up and they said the fuse had probably gone. We thought to ourselves these things happen, but again the power was off the next day," added the 57-year-old.

"My next door neighbour is 98 years old and he was groping about in the dark. He was using a paraffin stove to cook. A woman over the road has just got out of hospital.

"If we are going to have this all over Christmas, what's concerning us is whether there is going to be anyone able to come out?

Mr Glithro said the final straw had been when the power went off without warning at about 3.30pm on Saturday as some villagers were preparing food for Christmas.

A spokesman for 24seven said the problem had been caused by the system overloading in the morning and resulting in a fault.

He added that workers installed another wire during Saturday to try to solve the problem, but the power had to be taken off until the afternoon to allow that to happen.

Last week 24seven was strongly criticised in a report compiled by Colchester-based British Power International for the Department of Trade and Industry on October's power cuts crisis.

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