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Villagers left without power for 10 hours

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: February 19, 2014

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STORMS and bad weather have caused chaos in a Staffordshire Moorlands village.

Families in Endon were left without power for more than 10 hours after power lines came down on Thursday, February 13.

Residents living in The Village in Endon had no electricity from just after 11am until around 10pm.

The Black Horse pub was among those hit by the power shortage.

The blackout came after gale force winds caused a tree to fall on top of a car travelling along the A53 Leek Road between Endon and Longsdon on Wednesday, February 12.

A tree was also uprooted at the junction to Dunwood Lane and the A53 on Friday, February 14.

The issues have arisen as Endon with Stanley Parish Council is wrangling with the Environmental Agency over its lack of action to dredge a brook in the village.

Councillor John Sambrook, chairman of Endon with Stanley Parish council, said: "We're getting nowhere with the Environment Agency, which is responsible for maintaining and clearing the Horton Brook, which is the main cause of flooding on the A53 by The Black Horse and of a number of properties in The Village.

"It was cleared, realigned and widened in the 1980s and we had no flooding problems, until the 1990s when they stopped maintaining and clearing it.

"The agency claims it can't dredge the brook due to government policy, and has allowed it to revert back to its natural course, and is refusing to clear away trees which have fallen across it because it is good for wildlife.

"So it floods onto the floodplain which can't take the water and floods The Village.

"Staffordshire County Council recently cleared debris from The Village brook, which runs under the A53, so fortunately we haven't been hit by as much flooding this time.

"It has also drawn up a report outlining flooding hotspots in the village, such as the bottom of Clay Lake, Hillside Drive, Florence Terrace and Mayfair Grove, and is now drawing up a plan on how to deal with them."

In total, more than 11,000 homes and businesses across North Staffordshire and South Cheshire were left without power on Thursday morning.

Energy firm Western Power Distribution revealed 1,039 homes and businesses were caught up in the problems on Thursday morning caused by power lines catching fire.

The violent storms battering the UK have also left local authority building control teams across the country under pressure, as surveyors are called to deal with structures that have been left dangerous by the gale-force winds.

Only local authority building control teams inspect dangerous structures whenever they are reported to ensure public safety.

They are often first on site, or get called in by fire service teams, to inspect the integrity of structures to ensure they are safe for anyone else to enter.

They recommend what urgent action needs to be taken and help to ensure the safety of the occupants, members of the public and the emergency services.

Paul Everall, Chief Executive of LABC, said: “Local authority building control teams across the country are on call 24 hours a day 365 days a year to ensure people are kept safe. Their vital role often goes unnoticed until events such as these occur. All local authorities need to ensure that they maintain the strength and quality of these teams.”

LABC runs a dangerous structures and demolition course for its members to ensure members are well versed with the law and how to deal with incidents whenever they arise. If you have responsibility for dangerous structures or you need a refresher, visit their website.

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