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Our residents need to know about cut'

PUBLISHED: 10:58 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:45 25 August 2010

NEIGHBOURING council bosses are demanding a report in to the three-day power cut that affected nearly 200,000 homes be published immediately.

NEIGHBOURING council bosses are demanding a report in to the three-day power cut that affected nearly 200,000 homes be published immediately.

Jeremy Kite and Teresa O'Neill, leaders of Dartford Borough Council and Bexley Council respectively, made the calls following the Times' front page story last week.

We revealed EDF estimated the blackout in July last year cost them "millions of pounds" in "goodwill payments" to customers, repairs and temporary generators.

A report in to the incident was commissioned by regulator Ofgem and was due to be released last October following the blaze at the EDF sub station in Central Road, Dartford.

It has now been put back until at least May, almost a year after the incident which is thought to have been caused by thieves or vandals.

Councillor Jeremy Kite said: "Now Ofgem is in possession of the report it has a duty to publish it quickly and in full. The report contains facts and they don't change however much you review or consider them.

"I'm afraid local people are already hugely suspicious about the delay and Ofgem has a responsibility to the consumer, not the industry it is paid to regulate."

In response to an email from councillor Teresa O'Neill, Ofgem stated they have received the examiner's draft report and were giving it full consideration.

But they said they could not make the examiner's verdict or the report public because "it needs to be carefully reviewed and considered by Ofgem's senior management before a decision can be made".

Councillor O'Neill added: "Our residents suffered inconvenience and, in some cases, real hardship as a result of the power cut and they deserve to be told what went wrong and what has been done to prevent it happening again.

"Ofgem and EDF are accountable to the public and we think the report should be made public now."

At the height of the black-out almost 200,000 properties were affected, mainly in Dartford, Crayford, Bexleyheath, Erith and Orpington areas.

Traffic lights failed and residents and business were plunged in to darkness as E DF sought to bring power back.

A spokesperson said: "Ofgem has received the examiner's draft report and is giving it full consideration. We cannot at this stage make the examiner's verdict or the report public.

"However, in due course we do intend to publish the examiner's final report and consult by early May, on our decision on whether the Dartford incident is regarded as an exceptional event in terms of EDF's overall performance under the interruptions incentive scheme."

After this regulator Ofgem could recommend if compensation payments should be considered.

michael.adkins@archant.co.uk

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