Top pub's anger at power cut notice

A LANDLADY of an award-winning pub is furious energy chiefs have given her under a weeks notice ahead of having the power pulled at her business.

Russell Claydon

A LANDLADY of an award-winning pub is furious energy chiefs have given her under a weeks notice ahead of having the power pulled at her business.

Mandy Ruffles, who owns and runs the Fox and Hounds at Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds, is having to turn away customers wanting meals today while works are carried out in the village.

She has been left fuming that electricity maintenance will be carried out on her busiest lunchtime of the week after she was given just six days notice by EDF.

Her freehouse pub, which she runs with her husband Bernie, has been recognised as the best in the county by CAMRA and gets flooded with people every Wednesday for their special meals offer.

But today she fears pensioners who look forward to the two courses for �4.95 - which has become a social calendar highlight for villagers - will have to be turned away on the door because of the lack of notice.

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Mrs Ruffles said: “I understand that work has to be done but this is a business and we need more notice to prepare for it.

“At least if we were told about it last Wednesday we could have told people who came in but this was slapped on us last Thursday afternoon.”

She added despite speaking to three different EDF representatives linked to the works announcement she had only been left more angry by their reaction.

“The response I got from EDF was basically 'it is tough' and that is what pees you off,” she said.

A spokesman for EDF Energy, which is to cut power to 480 buildings in the village today from 9am to 5pm for essential maintenance works, said: “We are sorry to hear that Wednesday is not suitable for a customer and our project manager has spoken to them and explained the reasons for the work.

“We do take customers' situations into consideration when planning the date, but unfortunately as Thurston has a mixture of business and residential properties it is unlikely that any date would be ideal for every customer affected.

“It is our usual practice to notify customers well in advance of such work so they can make alternative power arrangements if necessary, such as arranging a generator. The industry rule is normally two days before the work but in this case, we have provided six days' notice.”

The Fox and Hounds is opening under normal hours today for drinks only.

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