The power cut that affected the village and surrounding area was due to a pole cracking in a field next to the Old Huntsman House. The Parish Council asked Scottish and Southern to carry out an urgent review and they promptly sent a team out to inspect all local network and main network poles in the Stratton Audley area. Any poles considered to be dangerous have been identified and arrangements will be made for actions to be taken at the earliest opportunity. Any poles that need attention but are not considered to be dangerous will be put in to the schedule to be dealt with in due course.
The whole village and some of the surrounding area suffered a power cut starting just after 8.30am and lasted 15 hours, with the power coming back on at around 11.30pm.
Resilience team leader, Stewart Hopkins, did a great job visiting those we know potentially fall into the ‘priority service’ category together with support from other councillors. A number of weaknesses were identified which will be addressed such as the need to have a reserve of torches, hot water bottles and flasks that can be loaned to people who do not or cannot leave their homes.
At lunchtime the four main roads through Stratton Audley were snow ploughed by local farmer Richard Wise who has a contract with the Parish Council to undertake such work when required.
The reason why the village was particularly badly affected was due to a rotten wooden utility pole which collapsed in the field next to the Old Huntsman House (see photo below of new pole). It was fortunate that it fell in a direction away from the house! Scottish & Southern were not able to get a crew on site until mid-afternoon and they then had to bring in heavy lifting equipment and a new telegraph pole which meant the work went on into the evening.
We will be discussing this matter at the next PC meeting and proposing that we ask Scottish & Southern to carry out an urgent audit of all their wooden utility poles in the Parish, particularly where they are located close to buildings, as they present a clear and present danger if they are not fit for purpose.
Do let the Parish Council know if you have anything to add or contribute to this matter.