Bute is better prepared thanks to SSEN grant

SSEN's Darren Leonard, community emergency plan manager Ronnie Falconer, and Bute community councillors Frank Baxter and Tony Harrison.
SSEN's Darren Leonard, community emergency plan manager Ronnie Falconer, and Bute community councillors Frank Baxter and Tony Harrison.

Bute’s emergency plan has received a very welcome boost this week in the form of a grant from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks.

The plan, which was brought to life by Bute Community Council following the severe storms of January 2012 which left much of the island cut-off in terms of power and communications, has received £3,678 from SSEN’s Resilience Fund.

The fund supports community groups across its network area for projects that will protect the welfare of those most vulnerable, enhance community facilities or improve communication during an emergency weather event.

The grant has allowed for the purchase of eight VHF hand-held sets, 110 wind-up radios, 16 walkie-talkie sets, and 100 wind-up lanterns to support the community’s most vulnerable residents.

Ronnie Falconer, community emergency manager for Bute, said: “Bute Community Council is proud to have been selected to receive a Community Resilience Fund award from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks.

“The council prepared the Bute emergency plan following a major severe weather power outage and disruption in January 2012 but reliability of communications remains an ‘achilles heel’ during an emergency.

“The community on Bute is now much better prepared to meet future emergencies especially as the severity and frequency of severe weather is likely to increase with climate change.

“Award of this grant is greatly appreciated by the council.”

Graeme Stewart, Head of Region at SSEN said: “As an organisation, SSEN is committed to being ready for winter and we want to ensure the communities we serve in Argyll and Bute are prepared too.

“There’s a great deal of community spirit in the area and it’s clear that people want to help each other during emergencies.

“This fund is designed to help our communities put their resilience plans into action, which will go a long way to ensuring people in their village, town or area remain safe and warm.”

>> The team responsible for carrying out Bute’s emergency plan is keen to hear from anyone willing to volunteer their services. To find out more about ways you can help please contact the plan’s manager, Ronnie Falconer, on 07771977338 or call in at Bute Advice Centre in Rothesay.