The chief executive of National Grid is warning that blackouts could be imposed during “really cold” weekday evenings this winter.
The head of Britain’s electricity and gas systems’ operator, John Pettigrew, has told households nationwide to prepare for blackouts to potentially be imposed between 4pm and 7pm on weekdays during the “deepest darkest evenings” in January and February next year if electricity generators do not have enough gas to meet demand.
He said blackouts were even more likely to imposed if there is a period of cold weather.
Mr Pettigrew’s words of warning come as the rising cost of living crisis continues to make its impact felt nationwide.
It also comes after the National Grid last week put the country on notice, saying the chances of gas shortages this winter had risen to becoming a “significant risk”, and that planned three-hour power blackouts could become a reality for some areas where demand could not be met.
But this the first time since that warning that there has been explicit discussion of what time blackouts may take place, should there be a need for them to occur.
Mr Pettigrew’s comments came at the Financial Times Energy Transition Summit yesterday.
In the “base case” set out by the National Grid, Mr Pettigrew did offer the public some comfort by saying that there should be enough supply to go around and that planned blackouts would still be considered to be the worst case scenario.
“In the context of the terrible things that are going on in the Ukraine and the consequences of that, [it was] right that we set out what some of the potential risks could be,” he explained.
He also went on to say that a “huge amount of work” is being done by National Grid.
Work is being done to ensure that the most vulnerable households will be provided with support in the event of blackouts becoming necessary.
National Grid says it’s also going to be launching an incentive-based scheme to get households to curb their energy usage during periods of low supply, as well as asking people to reduce their consumption in general in the run-up to winter.
The UK is one of many European countries facing gas shortages due to Russia’s war in Ukraine and the sanctions on Russian gas imports.
Body found at Bolton restaurant and suspected cannabis farm days after fire
A body has been found at the site of a fire in Bolton, days after a blaze ripped through a restaurant.
It’s believed that the fire started on the first floor of the property, with early inquiries suggesting it may have been used as a cannabis farm.
Human remains were found at the premises on Bolton Road in Farnworth.
A criminal investigation is now underway and Greater Manchester Police are appealing for information and footage relating to the incident.
Emergency services had first been called to the area at around 1pm on Monday 27 November, to reports of a fire.
Earlier today, Saturday 2 December, a body was found during a search of the restaurant building, days after the fire.
Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Naismith of GMP Major Incident Team said: “Work is ongoing to identify the deceased and we are committed to ensuring the potential family members are fully supported and informed of updates in this investigation.
“The loss of life is a tragedy and I understand the upset this news will cause in the local community. I can assure you on behalf of the investigation team that we are determined to get to the bottom of what has occurred and establish the circumstances surrounding the fire.
“I can confirm this fire is being treated as suspicious and if there is any criminal responsibility, it will be brought to light and dealt with appropriately. We are particularly interested to hear from anyone who knows how this building was being used in the lead up to 27 November 2023.
“I would also like to appeal to anyone with information about the fire itself – including if you have any footage (such as CCTV, mobile or dashcam) – to contact GMP’s Major Incident Team.”
You can make a report by calling 0161 856 1995 quoting log number 1485 of 27/11/2023 or via the reporting function on GMP’s website: www.gmp.police.uk
Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Tameside police officers hailed ‘absolute heroes’ after saving the life of a seven-year-old girl
Two Tameside police officers have been hailed as “absolute heroes” after saving the life of a seven-year-old little girl.
It comes after emergency services were called to an address in the Greater Manchester borough of Tameside earlier this week (29 November), and found a young girl who was struggling to breath and coughing up blood after choking on a sweet.
Police Constables Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell, from Greater Manchester Police‘s (GMP) Tameside division, were first on the scene.
To the huge relief of the girl’s parents, who were said to be “understandably distressed” and concerned for her welfare, PC Kincaid jumped straight into action and was able to utilise his first aid training to full effect by going on to successfully dislodge the sweet from the youngster’s throat, and then helping to calm her down before the paramedics arrived.
Whilst PC Kincaid looked after the little girl, PC Blundell did “everything he could” to help the parents remain calm.
Paramedics then took over once they arrived, and the young girl was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Reflecting on the incident, and hailing his officers “absolute heroes”, Superintendent Mike Walsh, from GMP’s Tameside district, said: “PCs Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell acted without hesitation during the incident, and took control of the situation that they were faced with.
“They deserve every credit for staying calm under extreme pressure and for working together as a team and utilising their training to lifesaving effect, and I’m sure the girl’s parents and family will consider them to be absolute heroes.”
“We’re both glad that we were in the right place at the right time,” PC Kincaid added.
“I have a daughter the same age as the little girl who needed our help, and I cannot tell you how much of a relief it was when she started breathing normally and said she was okay after I had managed to dislodge the sweet.