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Lessons must be learned from power outage

April 22, 2014 5:47 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

The power outage at Knocknagael substation that led to a power Liam McArthurLiam McArthur'blackout' across much of the Highlands & Islands last week was discussed in the Scottish Parliament earlier this afternoon.

The Finance Secretary, John Swinney came to the Chamber to answer questions from MSPs from across the region, concerned at what had happened and the impact on their constituents.

Orkney's MSP Liam McArthur took part in the exchanges at Topical Questions, and commented afterwards:

"The Finance Secretary accepted that delays in restoring power to customers in Orkney took longer than elsewhere. He insisted, however, that lessons had been learned and that steps were being taken to avoid any repeat of such problems in the future.

"It was also helpful to understand the safeguards in place to help meet the needs of more vulnerable members of communities across the Highlands & Islands. While blackouts can cause inconvenience for many, they can present real risks to the elderly and infirm. Mr Swinney was able to reassure MSPs that SSE had worked closely with the emergency services, as well as those involved in health and social care, to minimise any such risks.

"While preventing all future blackouts may be impossible, it is important that systems are made as resilient as possible and that response procedures are improved where appropriate. In that sense, Mr Swinney's comments to parliament this afternoon offer some hope that this is happening".