MP Angry Over Alresford Blackout
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Local MP Steve Brine is demanding answers from Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) after businesses in Alresford were hit on Saturday morning with the second major power cut in three days.
The town centre is currently off-grid while planned works are being carried out during July.
West Street and Broad Street shops are being powered by large temporary generators.
One of the rigs failed just after 9am on Saturday morning and wasn’t back online until just before midday. A similar power cut took place on Thursday (13th July 2017).
The cut didn’t affect the whole town centre but half of West Street and most of Broad Street were without power for the best part of three hours.
The Winchester & Alresford MP was shopping in the town with his two children on Saturday morning – and has demanded answers from SSE for what he’s described as a “totally unacceptable” debacle: “Saturday morning is a key trading period for the shops in Alresford and few of them can afford to lose that income.
“It’s fair enough if essential works are needed to upgrade the local infrastructure but it’s totally unacceptable to put in place an alternative supply that is clearly cannot cope and is failing as a result.
“It was a debacle the businesses could have done without and it spoilt the experience for those trying to shop, including the many visitors we get in Alresford on a Saturday morning in the middle of summer.
“I made contact with a senior manager at SSE while in Alresford on Saturday morning and have said I expect to have an urgent explanation of what happened and an assurance it will not happen again.”
Mr Brine added that he had spoken with a number of businesses in the town who said they had received no notice from SSE that the works were even taking place. The MP said he had been contacted by a number of business owners after posting a message on Facebook during Saturday.
A spokesperson for Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) told Winchester Today that the cause of the initial fault is currently being investigated, with the main priority to restore power to the customers as quickly as possible.
“We would like to apologise to our customers in the Alresford area for the inconvenience and thank them for their patience as our engineers worked to restore their power as quickly and as safely as possible.”