A WOMAN from a village near Witney is raising concerns over persistent power cuts in her area - and how they are placing her life at risk.

Dorothy Holloway, 71, from Wenrisc Drive in Minster Lovell believes 'a lack of maintenance' from Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks (SSE) is to blame for her constant cuts.

She said: "I had five power cuts on Saturday night with the electricity going out every couple of minutes and on New Year's Eve we had quite a long one too.

"It's now gotten so bad I'm keeping a note every time there's a power cut in my diary.

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"I'm not the healthiest of people and my breathing machine doesn't have back up when the electricity cuts out so I am totally reliant on the mains electricity.

"If it goes off, I stop breathing which isn't ideal for me."

Mrs Holloway suffered a stroke five years ago and uses a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine when she is asleep to assist her breathing.

Mrs Holloway claims that in 2019, her house suffered nine power cuts in total and three years ago, her fridge freezer blew due to the constant power cuts.

She has lived in the village for 28 years and said that her electricity supply has 'always been intermittent'.

Witney Gazette:

She said: "We've always had a problem with the electric - I've honestly never known a place like Minster Lovell for the electricity but recently it's been getting worse.

"The situation cannot go on, me and my husband are sick to death of it.

"What worries me is my elderly neighbours round the corner."

Mrs Holloway is also concerned the problem is only going to get worse with a new housing development being built nearby to her home.

The new Dovecot Park housing is being built off the Burford Road.

"The infrastructure just can't cope and they're building another 80 to 100 houses in the area" Mrs Holloway said.

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She added: "If they're building all these houses it's worrying as the system can't cope already.

"What makes it worse is that every time the electric goes off, the water also goes off."

Because her water supply cuts out when the electricity does, Mrs Holloway has resorted to keeping bottled water under her stairs so that when the water goes off she has a supply of water for 'drinking, taking medication and washing'.

Mrs Holloway's neighbour Paul Woodley, 67, has joked with his neighbours about moving because of the power cuts.

He said: "We moved from Witney in 2000 and I've never known a place have such regular power cuts, it's concerning.

"We were trying to watch something on television on Saturday but the power was just on and off."

Witney Gazette:

A spokesperson for SSE confirmed the incidents on New Year's Eve and Saturday and said: "We would like to apologise to Mrs Holloway for the inconvenience caused. 

"The disruption experienced was as a result of ‘auto-reclose’ system which temporarily shuts down power when anything, such as a tree branch or wind-born debris, comes into contact with the network. 

"While customers may experience a short flicker or interruption in supply, this is done to avoid network damage which could cause a longer fault.

"We take our responsibilities to our customers seriously, especially those who may need additional help during a power cut. 

"This includes providing additional support through our Priority Services Register.

"This is a free service that allows customers to get advanced warning of potential disruption, dedicated customer service and the provision of back-up generation for those dependent on medical equipment.

"We intend to contact Mrs Holloway directly to learn more about her experience and understand what further support we can provide through the PSR programme."