I have now had an opportunity to talk to one of the local operational managers of Western Power following last Thursday’s power cuts.
He assured me that there was no problem with the local infrastructure, it had been the subject of major investment over the recent past and there were plans for further investment in 2012. For example, the overhead wires that run along the canal towpath are scheduled to come down and the cabling for the power supply will be placed underground. There are also major plans to reduce the risk of falling trees affecting the power supply in the wider area through a management programme.
The problems of last week flowed from a fallen tree in Old Road (near the garage) causing extensive damage to the power supply. Whilst it had been possible to effect repairs quickly that enabled the main part of the system to be restored in the morning, some of the residual faults had proved difficult to locate which meant that parts of the system were without power until the early evening. The suggestion that the repair work was under resourced was strongly rejected. It was said that there was no evidence that Barlaston was subject to more power cuts than other parishes in the locality