The last to be lit up?

COULD Henry and Doreen Edwards be the last people in Suffolk without power?The couple, who are both 72 years old, and live at Boyton End, near Sudbury, have been without power since 10am last Sunday and were still cut off today – nine days later.

WERE Henry and Doreen Edwards the last people in Suffolk without power?

The couple, who are both 72 years old, and live at Boyton End, near Sudbury, had been without power since 10am last Sunday and were still cut off today – nine days later.

Power was finally returned this morning.

They have been getting by with an open fire, candles and a generator.

Mrs Edwards said: "Our son lent us the generator and that has kept our freezer going and has given us a bit of light. It's not been very easy and we've done no washing or cleaning."

They have been calling 24seven on a daily basis to sort out the problem.

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Mr Edwards said: "We had a supervisor come out on Tuesday but he said he couldn't do anything about it.

"We heard nothing more from them until Saturday but we have been ringing up every day to report it. Every time you ring up you start all over again as if they have no record of you."

The problem is a mystery to Mr Edwards as he believes that a transformer within his three acres of farmland is serving other people in the area.

"There are no lines down, he said. "I don't know what the problem is really."

The weekend's weather made life without power even grimmer for the couple and they are both wrapping up warm to combat the cold.

Along with his wife Doreen, who telephoned Radio Suffolk to speak about their plight, Mr Edwards is furious that it has taken so long to sort out.

He said: "In the past when we have had power cuts it has been fixed within 24 hours but nobody expects it to take eight days."

A Felixstowe couple have their power back on at last – after threatening to stage a protest outside the offices of 24seven in Ipswich.

Adrian Burrows and Julie Cornforth were without electricity at their home in Gulpher Road for more than 120 hours, and power was only restored after Julie visited the company's offices with a banner and refused to move.

"They told me I would have to ring in but I told them that I would stand in the street with my banner until the electricity was back on. It seemed to work and it was mended and switched on with three hours!" she said.

Engineers from the beleaguered firm have worked through the night to reconnect the 230 customers in East Anglia that were left without power.

At the start of yesterday around 2,000 homes and businesses were still power-less but engineers worked steadily in an attempt to meet the company's target of re-connecting everyone by midnight.

The firm has been criticised for its failure to reconnect customers more speedily and for its refusal to pay out normal rates of compensation.

"We will start our review of what has been a difficult week over the next few days and that will be the time to reflect," said a 24seven spokesman.

"The winds we had on Sunday were at times equal to those we had during the great storms of 1987. Then it took two, sometimes three weeks to get power fully restored.'"

24seven has angered customers, consumer groups and MPs by refusing to follow its normal compensation procedure.

Usually domestic customers can claim £50 compensation if without power for 18 continuous hours - and payments of £25 for each further 12 hour period without power.

24seven says because the storms on October 27 were exceptional it is abandoning that procedure although it has encouraged customers to outline the difficulties they have faced and make compensation claims.

The spokesman said that more claims for compensation would be considered on merit.

A spokeswoman for 24seven said the number of properties still without power in Suffolk was down to a "handful" but they are encouraging people to come forward if they are still without power.

* Are you still without power? Call the Evening Star newsdesk 01473 282257.

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