Power cuts spark anger in shops’ busiest month

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POWER cuts have been frustrating high street shopkeepers during their busiest time of year.

Shops in Stamford High Street have endured a frustrating month, with a succession of power failures at peak times.

The problems began on Friday, December 3 when the electricity to about 23 shops went off for the morning and again the following Tuesday for nearly three hours.

Power failed again last Friday for about 45 minutes and on Monday lunchtime this week for another 40 minutes.

Assistant manager of clothing store White Stuff, Victoria Austin, phoned Central Networks to complain about the problem on Friday.

She said: “We cannot keep putting up with these power cuts. This is the third time I have phoned about a power cut in two weeks.

“I urge all the shops to complain to Central Networks as I feel this is the only way we can get things done.”

Caffe Nero only opened this month and has only been able to serve cold drinks during the power cuts.

Manager Lora Simpson said: “We have been open just over three weeks and have I believe we have had four power cuts.

“It is frustrating, especially when it appears to always go off at peak times. Cold people want a hot drink and we cannot give it to them.”

Senior sales advisor at Vodafone Beth Harris said they have carried on as much as possible during the power cuts.

She said: “It is frustrating but we are used to it and bought a torch so when it goes off we can check our own fuses.”

Manager of Crew Clothing Hannah Hurst has also complained to Central Networks.

She said: “The power cuts are really annoying in the run up to Christmas as being closed for this length of time is a day’s trading and will lose us a lot of money.

“We are only a small shop and cannot open if we don’t have any lights due to health and safety. It is very frustrating.

“Customers travel from all over to buy presents. We don’t need this at any time of the year let alone Christmas.”

A Central Networks spokesman said: “About 11 customers have been affected in recent weeks by a recurring fault on the high voltage network.

“Our engineers have been working to monitor and investigate the issue so that a repair can be made.

““This necessary work has now been carried out and we will continue to monitor the network in the area to ensure the robustness of the repair.”