News / Connectivity concern for MSP – while police issue roads advice

A snapped 'hydro pole' half way between Voe and Brae. Photo: Shetland News

SHETLAND MSP Beatrice Wishart has pressured first minister Nicola Sturgeon on communications resilience in the isles following this week’s power disruption.

She said some households lacking connectivity in the power cuts cannot access key information at home.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would be happy to raise the issue with the Scottish Government’s resilience team.

She added that once more SSEN workers arrive off the boat on Friday morning then around 140 staff could be on the ground to get Shetland’s power lines repaired.

Justice secretary and lead minister for resilience Keith Brown is due to visit Shetland today (Thursday).

Meanwhile police Shetland area commander Stuart Clemenson said thanks to the “incredible efforts” of gritting staff, main roads are now passable but many side roads are still not safe.

“If you think that the routes surrounding your home will still be dangerous, then please stay at home and find ways to keep warm, linking in with friends, family or neighbours to check that everyone is OK,” he said.


“In saying this, many areas are much clearer than previous days and community hubs have been set up in various communities to offer warmth and food.

“If it is safe to do so, then please visit these locations – you can find details on the council website and social media channels.

“Please take care though and take precautions if walking or travelling by vehicle – NHS services in Shetland are under incredible pressure at the moment and we all need to do everything we can to not place more pressure on these services from injuries that could have been avoided.”

Local coastguard teams have remained busy, with crews from Walls and Baltasound starting yesterday by helping to transport fuel and medical supplies.

They were also involved with welfare checks and helping to transport a vulnerable person and police officers.

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The major power incident, which as of last night saw 2,400 households remain without supply since Monday, has also drawn a response from energy regulator Ofgem.

Akshay Kaul, Ofgem’s director of infrastructure and security and supply, said: “We have sought and received assurances from SSEN that they are doing all they can to ensure that customers are being looked after and provided adequate support while they wait for power supplies to be restored, particularly those who may be vulnerable.”

Ofgem also urged people to check with their supplier whether they may benefit from services available through the Priority Services Register, which can help with tailored customer care, benefit checks, more accessible formats for energy bills, more frequent meter reading, free gas safety checks and prioritised support.

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