As the country prepares for ice and snowy conditions this weekend, councils are urging households to show extra vigilance and ensure vulnerable friends, neighbours and relatives are safe as the big freeze bites.
With forecasters predicting severe weather – the Met Office has issued a yellow warning for snow and ice, with up to 20 cm of snow forecast in some areas – the Local Government Association, which represents 370 local authorities, is urging people to be watchful and look out for the vulnerable in their communities.
The LGA said councils have stockpiled 1.5 million tonnes of salt in advance of winter. State of the art gritters have been deployed as soon as temperatures drop.
In addition to gritting roads and clearing snow drifts, councils will be looking out for the more vulnerable members of their communities this winter. Local teams will assist the elderly and vulnerable in their communities, from delivering hot meals to carrying out emergency household repairs and providing heating.
Local authorities will be constantly updating websites and social media throughout the winter with information on weather, road conditions, school closures and gritting routes.
Cllr Martin Tett, the LGA’s Transport spokesman, said:
“As always, council teams will spend the winter months checking in on elderly and vulnerable residents to make sure they are okay but communities need to be on look-out for each other.
“Whether it’s a quick knock at the door to check on an elderly neighbour, or helping to carry out emergency repairs, everyone has a role to play to keep each other safe this winter.
“Councils are constantly monitoring the weather, with up-to-the-minute reports to stay one step ahead. Depots are filled with 1.5 million tonnes of salt and gritters are ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice to make sure our local roads are clear and open to our residents where possible.
“Planning for winter remains a key priority for councils, despite ongoing funding pressures and competing demands on their limited resources. Across the country, local authorities have taken the steps necessary to protect their residents from floods, ice, and wintry conditions."
- The Met Office has tips, advice and a checklist to help communities and their residents get “Winter Weather Ready”
- The LGA Research and Information team conducted a survey between the 3rd and 30th October 2017 to gather information about local authorities’ plans and preparations in case of severe weather. 79 councils responded – 45 per cent of all highways authorities in England and Wales. All figures quoted above are based on respondent councils only. The full survey is available on request.