05 February 2021

Council praise for community resilience in Huntly

Aberdeenshire Council has extended its thanks to the Huntly community for its support and offers of assistance during the recent loss of gas supply to thousands of homes.

From offers of hot food, plumbers to assist with gas connections and volunteers helping to deliver heaters and hotplates, the response has been massively-appreciated.

Gas network company SGN has now confirmed that all areas have had their supplies safely reconnected.

In the early stages of the incident, Aberdeenshire Council set about identifying vulnerable residents and liaised with SGN and resilience partners to ensure they were supplied with heaters and hot food.

Council services also ensured temporary heaters were installed at sheltered housing schemes in Huntly and to more than 500 council house tenants in the area.

The Grampian Coronavirus Assistance Hub played a key role in contacting the most vulnerable and shielding households in the Huntly and Keith areas and linking them to the SGN teams for support.

Teams from the Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership liaised with local GP practices to identify those over the age of 80 who may have required additional support, while contact was made with health visitors to identify any households with newborn babies or vulnerable families.

The council also made preparations for a rest centre which was not required, while volunteer agencies helped to coordinate the delivery of hot food to residents.

Aberdeenshire Council leader Cllr Andy Kille said: “First and foremost we have to thank all those who have been affected by the loss of gas supply for their patience and understanding during what has been a very challenging time for them, particularly given the freezing temperatures we are experiencing at the moment.

“But we must also thank everyone in the community for rallying round those affected, whether it was checking on elderly or vulnerable neighbours, supplying heaters, offering to make or distribute hot meals or providing assistance with the gas supply itself.

“Local resilience partners have worked closely with SGN over the last 24 hours to provide an effective co-ordinated response. I would also like to personally thank both our staff and all those from our partner agencies who put in a power of work behind the scenes throughout the incident to ensure residents have been getting the support they required.”