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- Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since 2019
Snow, rain, and wind is forecast to sweep across parts of the UK over the coming days, according to the Met Office – while thousands of households are still waiting to be reconnected to power supplies following Storm Arwen.
Around 4,700 homes across northern England and Scotland are still without supply – more than a week after the storm hit on November 26, according to industry body the Energy Networks Association (ENA).
On Saturday, Boris Johnson said he said he has held calls with those leading the response to Storm Arwen, adding he remains “concerned” that thousands of households still do not have power.
This afternoon I held a number of calls with those leading the response to Storm Arwen, including local community leaders in Northumbria, Durham and Darlington, and Lt Col Mark Steed, who is coordinating the military involvement in the response.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) December 4, 2021
In a tweet, the Prime Minister said the Government is ready to further support the recovery work “in any way we can”.
With work still ongoing to restore power, forecasters predict low temperatures of between 4C (39F) and 6C (43F) accompanied by some gale-force winds for the region over the coming days.
The Met Office expects to see “unsettled” weather, with snow in the Cairngorms and Northern Pennines overnight on Saturday before turning drier and less windy into Sunday.
But the temporary relief will end on Monday when a band of rain and snow is expected, along with more wind, in the second half of the day.
From Tuesday, the UK is set to see continued wind, rain, and snow – with a likelihood of more strong winds, although not as strong as Arwen, into Wednesday.
Simon Partridge, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “In terms of the process of reconnecting power supplies and getting to remote areas, it’s not helpful – probably tomorrow being the best day and probably the first half of Tuesday as well, some decent conditions.
“Other than that, a fair bit of rain, some hill snow, and some reasonably strong winds – certainly aiding to slow down the process of reconnecting supplies and getting to the more remote locations to clear trees and so forth.
“It’s certainly not ideal, and the higher locations certainly will be seeing some more snow in the coming days.”
The Met Office has also issued yellow weather warnings for rain in parts of the north east of England and a yellow warning for snow for parts of the south east of Scotland.
The long delays have prompted energy regulator Ofgem to warn it will take enforcement action against network companies which failed to restore power to customers quickly enough following the storm.
It has also agreed with firms to lift the £700 cap on compensation which could be given to customers.
The change will allow those affected to claim £70 for each 12-hour period they are left without power, after an initial £70 for the first 48 hours.
Chief executive Jonathan Brearley told the BBC Radio 4 programme: “We are deeply concerned about customers who for over a week have been without power.
“We want to establish the facts and make sure we understand what has happened, whether the network companies have met their obligations. If they haven’t, we will take enforcement action.
“We have clear expectations of how fast they should get people back on the system.
“We do recognise the challenging circumstances those companies are in. But what we expect from the network companies is to be relentless in connecting people, but also to be putting support in place.”
He later told BBC Breakfast: “One thing we’ve done already is we’ve said to network companies, and they’ve agreed, they’ve lifted the cap on the compensation they will give customers and they’ll make sure that those customers do get some compensation for everything they’ve been through.”
The Ministry of Defence said 297 personnel from the British Army and Royal Marines are supporting civil authorities and are conducting door-to-door checks on vulnerable people in their homes and providing reassurance to local communities.