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Sark Electricity to cut off power from the end of the month

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SARK will be without an electricity supply at the end of the month.

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The company said it can no longer afford to go on.

It follows unsuccessful calls for a government grant to pay for a legal fight against a crippling commissioner’s Price Control Order.

'Over a month ago, I asked the government to consider granting us the money needed for the legal bills for going to court to resolve the latest problem they have given us, their incompetent commissioner’s Price Control Order,' said SEL managing director David Gordon-Brown.

'This is causing us to lose £20,000 per month. Tuesday’s Chief Pleas was their last opportunity to discuss and authorise this, but they failed to even put it on the agenda.

'As the problems Chief Pleas have caused us have already cost us over £500,000 we no longer have the resources to pay the legal bills ourselves. The only contact with Chief Pleas so far has been based on finding the minimum price they can pay for the company. This does not help to resolve the situation.'

It no longer had any options, he said.

'We have shown Chief Pleas an independent auditor’s report that shows that we would lose over £83,000 by 31 December at the current electricity price .

'We needed to start on the legal work to overturn this judgement by the beginning of this month so mounting a lawyer-driven appeal against the commissioner’s foolishness is no longer possible.

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'As his price stretches on for two years, there is no possibility of surviving if we continue as we are so we must stop selling electricity.

'We will no longer offer electricity for sale after the end of this month (30th November).'

He said without the electricity to provide water, the government would quickly have a Public Health emergency if it allowed anyone to remain on Sark.

'So, although we will not be providing a general supply beyond the end of the month, we will work with the Medical and Emergency Services Committee to make sure that the doctor and essential emergency services can function for another week beyond the end of the month to cover the transition period as everyone moves off the island.

'We will also remain here for the transition period as we have to put out the final billing, clear up and mothball the plant and equipment so that we can consider restarting when the Commissioner’s price expires in two years’ time.'

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