A COUNTY Durham MP has hit out at Northern Powergrid - claiming that some properties in the region won’t be reconnected to the electricity network until December 8. 

Kevan Jones, who represents the North Durham constituency, has called the progress and timescale that’s been quoted by the power operator today as “totally unacceptable” – amid some communities not having power for seven days now. 

Residents in Coronation, Bishop Auckland, Weardale, High Handenhold and Blackhouse, among others in County Durham, have been forced into darkness for the last week, due to chaos caused by Storm Arwen.

Read more: Storm Arwen traps disabled County Durham man for 48 hours

High winds, rain and snow battered the region, as well as parts of the wider North East and North Yorkshire, last Friday and over the weekend – causing fallen power lines, felled trees and damaged properties. 

In the aftermath of Storm Arwen, people have been dealing with the lack of heat and power from their houses, but attention has now turned to when electricity will be restored. 

Northern Powergrid has allegedly told some residents that they might need to be prepared to be without power until December 8 – a move that has been attacked by many politicians from County Durham. 

The Northern Echo: Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham.Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham.

One of those MPs that’s been vocal about the “lack of action and foresight” is Kevan Jones MP, who, earlier today, took to social media to direct his dismay towards Northern Powergrid for what he describes as “constant mixed messaging”.

In a statement, Mr Jones said: “It is unacceptable that a week after storm Arwen, residents of my constituency do not have electricity. I am appalled that my office has been told today that the earliest power will be restored to properties in High Handenhold and Blackhouse is December 8.

“Northern Powergrid’s response has been sluggish, and their communications woeful. My constituents have repeatedly been told to access information via the Northern Powergrid website, but this system is useless.

The Northern Echo: Northern Powergrid have said they are doing all they can to work on properties still impacted by Storm Arwen.Northern Powergrid have said they are doing all they can to work on properties still impacted by Storm Arwen.

“The lack of clear information has made an extremely difficult situation far more stressful than it needed to be and prevented families from being able to respond in a timely fashion.”

The MP went on to say: “The properties affected in my constituency are not remote or inaccessible, and I can see no reason why generators should not be brought in to provide them with power. I call on Northern Powergrid to install these as a matter of urgency.

“It is vital that lessons are learnt from this incident, and that in future all bodies work together to support local people. I will be compiling a report based on the experience of my constituents and would ask that everyone who has been affected emails me 
at kevanjonesmp@parliament.uk when they are in a position to do so.

Read more: Community looked after by Barnard Castle curry house amid Storm Arwen

In response to Mr Jones, a spokesperson for Northern Powergrid said: “Our top priorities are reconnecting our customers as soon as possible, keeping them informed to the best of our abilities and doing everything we can to support the wider effort in our communities aimed at helping those who need us the most.”

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054