Priority user registers for residents, held by Anglian Water and UK Power Networks.

Following the water interruption at the end of December in Caistor St Edmund and surrounding areas which affected 5000 households in South Norfolk, I would like to make you aware of the priority user registers for residents, held by Anglian Water and UK Power Networks.

Once registered, during a prolonged incident, regular contact is made by Anglian Water or UK Power Networks, keeping customers informed and providing assistance if required. At Caistor St Edmund, bottled water was delivered to individual households. This latter event was, of course, unusual but nevertheless we have taken the opportunity to support the efforts by utility companies to ensure they have up to date information if events occur in future. In the first instance please keep an eye on their websites during any incident.

We are aware that several of the affected parishes are in the process of compiling a joint community emergency plan which was referred to for information and points of contact.

If you know of anyone in your community that meets the criteria (see details below) to be registered, then please follow the links, you can register on line or print the forms to fill in and post.

We are also looking at new ways to reach more vulnerable residents with the utility providers – perhaps you could help us by contacting local groups or putting leaflets in community centres/villages halls/churches, wherever you think it would be most useful?

Anglian Water – vulnerable customers

WaterCare is available to a wide range of customers, from nursing mothers with children under the age of one to kidney dialysis patients who have a dialysis machine at home; customers who have sight or hearing difficulties to those who are frail and elderly or classed as disabled.

Power – vulnerable customers

By joining the register, you will receive:

  • A priority phone number that you can call 24 hours a day
  • A welcome pack with useful advice about preparing for a power cut
  • Regular text message or phone updates during a power cut
  • Extra support from the British Red Cross

Who can apply

  • Customers who are dependent on medical equipment
  • Customers who are chronically ill
  • Customers with a disability
  • Customers who are visually impaired or blind
  • Customers who are hearing impaired or deaf
  • Elderly customers
  • A nursing or residential home
  • Customers with young babies in household
  • Any other case that you would like us to consider

Gas – vulnerable customers

Unfortunately there is not one point of contact for a similar register if you have a piped Gas supply.

Cringleford was affected by a loss of gas supply last week, The National Grid have a large emergency team that visit each household but rely on individual suppliers to maintain a register of vulnerable people for use during such incidents. It is understood that British Gas has a priority services register but with so many suppliers, contact would have to be made directly to your supplier. In the case of Cringleford they have a Community Emergency Plan which was used for additional information that the National Grid did not hold. This reinforces the value of community plans.

About Michael Hill

Wreningham Parish Council Chair

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