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Traders lose 1,000s of pounds in cut

PUBLISHED: 17:11 07 August 2008 | UPDATED: 07:34 01 August 2010

TRADERS across Bungay have voiced their disgust at a £100 "good will" payment from EDF energy that is dwarfed by the 1,000s of pounds lost last Friday and Saturday as a result of the power cut.

TRADERS across Bungay have voiced their disgust at a £100 “good will” payment from EDF energy that is dwarfed by the 1,000s of pounds lost last Friday and Saturday as a result of the power cut.

Power was lost for nearly 24 hours for many of the town's traders, from 9.35am to about 8.45am on Saturday, and while huge sums of money were lost through ruined stock, forced closures and staff wages, the traders received only £50 more than the goodwill payments issued to domestic clients.

Jennie Footer, of the Bungay Shopper in St Mary's Street, said that the shop had lost several thousands of pounds through spoiled refrigerator and freezer goods. She continued: “We also lost a full day's trade because of health and safety- we couldn't let people in the shop because it was pitch black, but we paid our staff.

“I don't think it's a particularly wonderful way to treat the traders of this town. We've got the same letter as the householders in the town and I've lost a fifth of my week's wages. We can claim it off our insurance but then we will lose our excess and the premium will go up next year.”

Sharon Gittings, the owner of Amor's Florist, said: “I had to close so I lost customers and more than £200. I'm annoyed because they should just ask each business how much they lost.”

The pubs in Bungay were amongst the worst affected, such as the King's Head in the Market Place, which lost approximately £3,000. The pub's manager Phil Wernham said: “We had to close for the night- the pub's too big to run just off a small generator and to get hold of one was practically impossible anyway. The cash points weren't working until Monday afternoon so we lost money on the Saturday night as well.

“We had two guests in the hotel and we had to move them to the King's Head in Beccles.”

Susan Warren, president of the Bungay Chamber of Trade, said that EDF should have taken account of how much each trader lost: “I'm highly disgusted that they see fit to offer £100. My next door neighbour is a butcher and he probably lost thousands, so it's a paltry sum and I think EDF should have taken that into account.

An EDF spokesman said: “Like all power distribution companies we operate to Guaranteed Standards set by our regulator, Ofgem, which sets the level of payments and when that would apply.

“If there is a breakdown on our network we work hard to get the power back on as quickly as possible. However, if it takes us more than 18 hours to restore power customers can claim a Guaranteed Standard payment of £50 for a residential customer, or £100 for business customers.”

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