The leader of Harrogate Borough Council, Don Mackenzie has commented on the power outages that took place on Saturday, 17th December 2011.
Harrogate Borough Council instigated an emergency planning team to handle the situation and have said that they will talking to National Powergrid further over the incident.
Councillor Mackenzie said:
On Saturday afternoon there was a three-hour long power cut, which affected the town centre and some outer areas of Harrogate.
The power company, Northern Powergrid, issued an explanation and apology in the evening. These were welcome, but I will call for further assurances that every step will be taken to prevent a recurrence.
As far as Harrogate Borough Council’s services were concerned – I kept in touch with the Director of HIC and with our Emergency Planning Officer to learn from them the extent of the disruption.
The performance by the Harrogate Symphony Orchestra in the Conference Centre, and the Gilbert and Sullivan event by the Brighouse and Rastrick Band in the Royal Hall both went ahead as planned in the evening, after power had been restored. Unfortunately, the afternoon performance in the Royal Hall had to be cancelled.
Our Emergency Planning Team was busy all afternoon.
The Victoria Shopping Centre was closed, as was the Victoria Car Park.
Officers had to go to the Jubilee Car Park where barriers had stuck in the closed position. Tickets were not being recognised. The duty manager opened the barriers manually to allow motorists to depart.
We were not aware that any persons were stuck in lifts.
The district heating system, which provides heat to civic buildings, shut down. Our Emergency Team carried out repairs so that heat could be restored to the HIC and Royal Hall.
Council officers will review procedures on Monday morning to ascertain whether anything can be learnt from yesterday’s situation. Of concern will be the closing of the car park barriers.
Otherwise, I believe that our Emergency Team and HIC personnel did very well in what were extremely difficult circumstances.
I am sure that council officers will be discussing matters urgently with the power company.