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Compensation help for power cut’s vulnerable victims

PUBLISHED: 10:41 27 August 2009 | UPDATED: 17:04 25 August 2010

VULNERABLE residents struggling to apply for compensation after power disruption that hit over 90,000 people can get help.

VULNERABLE residents struggling to apply for compensation after power disruption that hit over 90,000 people can get help.

Bexley council is putting on a series of advice sessions in Slade Green and other areas badly affected by a blackout in July caused by an alleged sabotage of vital cabling managed by EDF Energy at Dartford Creek.

EDF is giving a 'goodwill gesture' of £50 to residents who went without power for over 24 hours from July 20, when power went down in some areas.

Bexley council leader Teresa O'Neill said: "This was the worst power cut in Bexley for 30 years and I will be pressing the regulator to approve compensation for those businesses that were worst affected - many of which were already struggling because of the recession - and for residents who suffered significant loss."

She added: "The goodwill payment proposed by EDF recognised the inconvenience suffered by people who were without power for more than a day, but many residents and businesses feel it didn't compensate them for the true cost of the loss of service."

The energy firm is applying for exemption from the government's Guaranteed Standards compensation scheme on the grounds that saboteurs were responsible for the damage.

Regulator Ofgem will look at the evidence and decide whether EDF could have done more to prevent the incident, before reaching a decision on compensation. It is subject to an ongoing police investigation.

Council staff will be at Slade Green Community Centre, Bridge Road today, Thursday from 2pm to 6; at Orchard House, Northend Road, Erith and on Friday September 4, 11am to 1pm; Welling Library, Bellegrove Road on Tuesday September 8, 4pm-6pm; St Augustine's Church Hall, Slade Green Road on Saturday September 12, 10am to1noon; North End Children's Centre, Lincoln Close, Slade Green on Monday September 14, 2 to 4pm; Bexleyheath Broadway on Tuesday September 15, 11.30am to1.30pm

A representative from EDF will be at the events on September 8 and 14. Claims can be made by sending your name and full address to: EDF Energy Networks, Dartford Payments Team, Fore Hamlet, Ipswich IP3 8AA.

martin.sawden@archant.co.uk

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