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Sunday, 23 November 2014

These WI ladies are not for turning, MP warns npower

HEXHAM'S MP Guy Opperman has called for a boycott of npower in a show of support for the members of Heddon on the Wall Women's Institute.

The women were astonished recently when they received a huge electricity bill for the use of their hall, apparently due to meter reading errors dating back to 2006.

On Monday, Mr Opperman wrote in his on line blog that one should “never mess” with the WI, adding that the ladies, who “aren’t for turning”, had his full support.

“I have written to the chief executive to ask them to drop this stupid request and I will keep everyone informed as to the response,” he said.

“Until they do, may I recommend any of you who are currently npower customers to visit the wonderful USwitch website where you can change energy supplier.”

The bill in question originally came in at an astonishing £5,315, after npower claimed the WI had submitted incorrect meter readings since 2006.

The company, however, then accepted its own staff had made some meter reading errors, and reduced this to £1,693 as a “goodwill gesture”.

Last week, WI secretary Pauline Wright said the organisation was still unwilling to pay and would keep fighting the bill.

Since then, there has been no resolution, but support from the public has continued to grow.

“We’ve had two people get in touch with us wanting to help, one of whom was a retired conservation officer who came out to check our meters and make sure they were giving the right readings,” Pauline said.

“It’s still ongoing, though, and we haven’t had a committee meeting yet to decide what our decision will be.”

Mr Opperman’s comments come after Heddon’s county councillor Peter Jackson branded npower a “Big Brother company” showing a lack of care for its customers.

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