It won’t be long before clocks go back. Nights are already drawing in and it’s getting colder.
With winter on the way and bad weather becoming more and more likely, people – naturally – will want to make sure we’ve got arrangements in place to help people deal with poor conditions.
The first thing that tends to concern people is the roads, and how they can get about in the event of ice and snow.
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We want to make sure the county borough keeps working and people can still get where they need to go.
We have a fleet of 10 gritters, and 30 hardworking volunteers from our Streetscene team, who step in to pilot the gritters – sometimes overnight – when the weather gets bad.
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The decision on whether or not they go out is made on a daily basis, based on detailed weather forecasts, so they won’t miss anything.
Their rounds follow 11 different routes throughout the county borough, covering scores of residential, rural and main roads – including the A483 and the A5.
Members of the public can keep an eye on when the gritters go out by following our Twitter account and watching out for the hashtag #wxmgrit.
We also put out reminders via the MyUpdates system, which e-mails updates directly to subscribers.
“Ready and prepared”
Cllr David A. Bithell, Lead Member for Environment and Transport said: “As a department we are preparing for the winter season. Operational training is currently taking place.
“In addition to clearing main highways, we prioritise our routes, like sheltered accommodation and school routes. Details of our priority routes are available on our website.
“We also share a pool of vehicles more equipped to deal with severe weather conditions to ensure that care can reach the most vulnerable people.”
Help where you can
Residents are also advised to check in on neighbours – especially any elderly, disabled or vulnerable residents.
It doesn’t’ take five minutes to help, but high winds, frost, ice and snow pose even greater difficulties for vulnerable people when trying to carry out even basic everyday trips, such as nipping to the shops or the post office.
Quick checks or offers of help could make all the difference for someone who cannot get out on their own.
Cllr Joan Lowe, Lead Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “There are many people in our communities who struggle during the colder months, and we shouldn’t underestimate just how much of a difference a small thing can make to someone’s life.
“There are so many easy ways to help – help with the shopping, taking a hot meal or just calling in for a chat. We are asking that residents take just a couple of minutes to check on neighbours, friends and relatives.”
Cllr Lowe added: “I would also recommend that people get in touch with their GP and get their flu jab as soon as possible – particularly the elderly or the infirm.”
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