Electricity repairs leave Leeds residents cold

Vulnerable Leeds residents were left without hot water or heating as an energy company planned "essential" repair work for one of the coldest days of the year.

Electricity distributor YEDL, a subsidiary of CE Electric UK, yesterday shut down the power at John Rylie House, a sheltered accommodation complex that is home to 23 elderly people in Barwick-in-Elmet.

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The residents that include a 95-year-old man and a 90-year-old woman, who are both certified blind, were given a week's notice by the company that said it needed to replace a nearby substation.

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Housing officer Julie Naylor, who is responsible for the tenants, was furious to learn that the firm had provided no extra provisions for the eight hour shutdown.

Elderly people were expected to go out for the day to escape the cold, she was told.

Support staff delivered fish and chips to the elderly householders in a bid to warm them up.

Mrs Naylor said: "All (YEDL] came up with was that they were expecting (the tenants'] families to look after them.

"Most of the people staying here do not have family close by.

"This is just not good enough. These are all elderly people. (YEDL] haven't even offered to bring them a hot meal or any form of heating.

"I am really annoyed about it."

Asked why the work was planned for December, a CE Electric UK

spokeswoman said that there was a programme to follow.

She said that it was possible if substation work was not completed that homes might suffer power cuts.

She said: "This work is part of a full 12 month programme to improve the security and reliability of the electricity supply to customers across the network.

"The electricity supply will be turned off to carry out this work but will be carried out as quickly as possible to try to minimise the discomfort for local residents."

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