HAILSHAM: ‘Power loss will cost us £2,000’

A HAILSHAM businesswoman has said she will lose £2,000 when UK Power Networks shuts down the electricity at the Swan Barn Business Centre next week.

Sheryl Cooper, director of Pest Control Direct, has told the Gazette she and the other 11 business in the centre will be among those affected.

Pest Control Direct will have to close its doors on May 13 as there will be no power to the building.

Ms Cooper and the other businesses received a letter shortly after Easter which stated the power supply would be turned off between 8.30am and 4pm so that new equipment could be installed at the Swan Barn Travellers’ Site.

Ms Cooper, who carries out most of her business online, says she will be unable to continue trading during the power cut and expects to lose around £2,000.

She said, “We can’t open, we won’t even be able to run the phones.

“Why didn’t they carry out the work at the weekend or on one of the many Bank Holiday weekends we have had recently?”

Ms Cooper said she phoned UK Power Networks and asked if she could oppose the power cut but said she was told the letter was sent to her well in advance to allow her to make alternative arrangements, such as installing a generator.

Ms Cooper said, “I haven’t got a generator and I have no idea how much one would cost. I asked if they could supply me with a generator and they said no.” A spokesperson from the power company said they were committed to providing a safe and reliable electricity service.

He explained, “We are concerned to hear customers in the Swan Business Centre, Hailsham, are unhappy about a planned interruption to power supplies scheduled for May 13.

“Our engineers will upgrade the electricity distribution network in the area on that day. To do so as quickly and safely as possible, about 20 customers will experience the interruption, forecast between about 8.30am and 4pm, although power will be restored sooner if possible.

“This type of work takes place all year round. It is usual practice to notify customers well in advance so they can make alternative power arrangements if necessary, such as arranging a generator. The industry rule is normally two days’ notice and in this case, we have provided more than two weeks’ notice.

“We are sorry to hear May 13 is not suitable for some customers. It is unlikely any date would be suitable for every customer affected.”

UK Power Network is advising customers to switch off electric cookers and fires, leave one light on to show when the power comes back on and use a basic phone rather than a cordless one.

Residents are advised to turn their freezers to maximum around 12 hours before shutdown and then keep the doors closed as much as possible. The spokesperson said the contents of a freezer will stay frozen for more than eight hours but residents should remember to turn their fridge or freezer to its normal setting when the power comes back on.