IT IS ‘totally unacceptable’, that over 4,000 households in North East England remain without power more than nine days after Storm Arwen tore down power lines on 26th November, Tory Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng admitted yesterday.
Speaking on a visit to St John’s Chapel in County Durham, Kwarteng said: ‘I completely accept this is totally unacceptable.
‘It’s wrong and bad for people to be off power for such a long time. In this day and age, 4,000 people should not be without power for so long.’
Kwarteng said the performance of the energy privateers before and during the power outages will be reviewed and if they are found to have ‘failed to invest in infrastructure’ then ‘there could be enforcement action’.
He said: ‘In this particular instance there is a question about the infrastructure in this area being fit for purpose.’
3,900 homes remain unconnected in County Durham and Northumberland, while in Cumbria, 86 households are still without power and in Scotland there are about 30 unconnected.
The Met Office has warned of more wind, rain and snow in the affected areas today and tomorrow and the danger of more homes becoming disconnected.
Hundreds more homes in Rothbury, Northumbria, lost power overnight on Saturday night, while thousands of families are this morning going into a 10th day without any power, hot water and central heating.
The Met Office warns that the weather will worsen tomorrow, Tuesday, when strong winds and heavy snow are expected in parts of Scotland and northern England.
Energy regulator Ofgem warned it will take enforcement action against the private energy companies which fail to restore power to households quickly enough.
Workers Revolutionary Party General Secretary Frank Sweeney said: ‘He is right. The situation is completely unacceptable.
‘This is why Kwarteng and the whole of the Tory Cabinet must resign, and if they won’t the trade unions must call a general strike to put the Tories out and a workers’ government in!’