Plan B needed for power cuts
POWER disruptions to companies struggling to remain competitive in this tough economy are certainly bad for business.
But five in as many weeks, as reported in today's Page 7 story, is hard to understand.
Western Power Distribution has explained this number is a coincidence, but that is little comfort to our business community.
What is good news is that Western Power is prepared to consider the case for compensation.
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Some businesses might be able to find a way around the power cut challenge. This newspaper was able to relocate staff to Gloucester and Bristol to ensure the Echo distribution was not affected by missed deadlines, but what about the hairdresser's and restaurant quoted in today's story?
Their customers have come to expect a certain level of service and, while the hairdressers admirably tried to think outside the box and blow dry hair elsewhere, the problem was too widespread for this to work.
Some businesses were without power for up to four hours while engineers tried to get at the fault beneath Strozzi Palace in Clarence Street.
Even if customers are understanding, this places businesses under a great deal of pressure and they cannot afford to lose four hours of income.
Western Power has explained the location of the problem which led to the delay. And, when it involves an underground cable, this is clearly a tricky repair job.
It also noted it could sometimes switch clients to an alternative energy source. Perhaps this is an area which could be exploited further through greater investment and research?
If it has the means to keep businesses up and running during long repair projects, more power to it.
IT'S fantastic to see Winchcombe Primary School staff and pupils getting behind teaching assistant and Paralympian Mel Nicholls ahead of her 200 metres challenge.
Their cheerful T-shirts, hats and banner – Go Miss Nicholls Go! – are an uplifting sight indeed.
Part of the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is to inspire a future generation and what better example of this can we offer than Mel's courage and determination?