Fringford boosts its resilience with funding from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

Mr Richard Wise, who farms in Frimgford, with the gritter purchased through SSEN funds

Fringford Parish Council may not be able to keep their village entirely frost-free through the winter, but – thanks to funding from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) – they can now help residents through some of the problems that the colder months can bring.

The Parish Council for the Oxfordshire village was awarded over £14,000 through SSEN’s Resilient Communities Fund, a scheme set up to help charities and groups across its central southern England patch to help boost their resilience and tackle areas of vulnerability in their communities with awards of up to £20,000.

SSEN’s grant has enabled Fringford Parish Council to buy a towable gritter and salt spreader that will help keep untreated roads and pathways clear, and a generator that will provide a source of power to the village hall should they experience the need to set up an emergency centre during a power cut.

Fringford Parish Council said: "We were delighted to receive the funding from SSEN’s Resilient Communities Fund that has enabled us to buy kit which has already been put to good use. Mr Richard Wise, who farms locally, was able to hitch the gritter up to his farm buggy during the recent snow and ice that affected the area, and cleared the roads and paths that ensured motorists, cyclists and pedestrians had safe passage through the village.

"Having the equipment on hand to respond quickly helps our residents feel safer and less vulnerable when faced with adverse weather situations."

Set up in 2014 as a two-year pilot scheme, SSEN has pledged to extend the fund to 2023 using a proportion of the income it receives from the industry regulator Ofgem in relation to its stakeholder engagement performance.

In addition to the Resilient Communities Fund, SSEN has been working closely with local communities in the south east of England, helping them create resilience plans for emergencies, such as adverse weather and possible power disruption during winter storms.

Guidelines and applications forms are available on SSEN’s website:
www.ssen.co.uk/RCF/England/ with a full report on the fund available here - https://www.ssen.co.uk/RCF/

Funds for the next round of applications in central southern England are now open, with the closing date for applications is 17 May 2019. Decisions on awards to be made by September 2019.