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Islington Tribune - by PETER GRUNER
Published: 12 June 2009

Former Islington mayor Margot Dunn with the electricity generator sitting outside her house that has been disturbing neighbours
Former mayor says ‘sorry’ to neighbours for street generator

Ex-councillor is handed noisy solution to power cut

FORMER Islington Mayor Margot Dunn has issued a heartfelt apology to friends and neighbours in her street: “Sorry about the noise!”
Mrs Dunn, 79, has had a mobile electricity machine parked outside her house in Ringcross Street, Holloway, for almost a week after experiencing a power cut on Sunday.
And the “low hum” from the generator – nicknamed ‘gennie’ – is disturbing neighbours’ sleep and can be heard up to a quarter of a mile away 24 hours a day.
On Wednesday morning someone pressed the emergency stop button to switch the machine off, leaving Mrs Dunn with no power for lights and heating for several hours, until a technician arrived to switch it on again.
Former Lib Dem councillor Mrs Dunn said: “The electricity company EDF need to repair a broken fuse in a cable. But they can’t tell me when they are going to come and fix it.”
The main cable in the street fractured and blew in the storm on Sunday affecting only Mrs Dunn’s home.
“The trouble is that when you ring EDF you speak only to a call centre who can’t give you any useful information, such as when they are going to fix the problem,” she said.
“They keep telling me there are more serious cases to deal with. I’m supposed to be grateful that at least I’ve got a generator.
“I asked to speak to a technical adviser – they said: ‘No, you can’t do that’.”
The generator needs 100 litres of diesel fuel, which has to be filled up every three days. It emits only low-level fumes but Mrs Dunn is also worried that it could pose a danger if it was vandalised.
She said she was very sorry for her friends and neighbours in the street who have been disturbed by the noise.
“There’s a young man across the street who is taking exams and has had to move his bedroom to the back because of the racket,” added Mrs Dunn. “I’m really sorry, but it is not my fault.”
Lib Dem deputy leader Cllr Lucy Watt said Islington Council is investigating the problem.
“Obviously it’s not Margot’s fault that she needs a generator, but we would rather hope that EDF repair the fault as quickly as possible,” she added.
A spokeswoman for EDF apologised for any disruption caused by the generator.
She added: “A fault on an underground electricity cable interrupted the supply to one customer at about 9.10am on Sunday. As it was not possible to make an immediate repair a generator was used to restore power later that day, as a temporary measure.
“Tomorrow [Friday] we aim to carry out permanent repairs.”

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