Most of the district experienced snow showers during the early morning and the afternoon. This combined with sub-zero road temperatures has made conditions extremely difficult. On Tuesday, it is forecast for some light sleet or snow showers in the afternoon with a more persistent spell of sleet or snow possible overnight and during Wednesday morning, with accumulations 2-5cm possible. Throughout the rest of Wednesday, some light snow showers are expected at time, but overall there will be a good deal of dry weather. It will remain cold.
In light of today’s weather and forecast conditions over the coming days we will be reviewing how we run the most severely affected services to get through this period of exceptionally bad weather.
Road conditions in some parts of the district have become extremely hazardous. Teams of gritting crews have responded to the prevailing road conditions around the clock – another salting run will be conducted at 7pm this evening. Council gritting crews will continue to work 24 hours a day to salt the 260 miles of priority routes on the road network.
We cannot afford to be complacent with our salt stocks and will continue to prioritise the use of salt accordingly. It is our policy that side roads will not be gritted. But in these exceptional circumstances we will endeavour to redeploy any available resources to assist communities that are struggling in the conditions.
For the time being, we will continue to meet reasonable requests to refill grit bins, although this ability depends upon the demands on resources of keeping the priority route road network gritted. A significant amount of work has taken place to keep Council facilities, like car parks and Park and Ride services, operating normally in response to icy conditions.
Although the Council has ordered more salt to replenish stocks following the adverse weather experienced a few weeks ago, there is very high national demand for salt because of the problems experienced in the north and the south east already this winter. The Council is considering what measures need to be taken to conserve salt supplies so that we can continue to grit our priority route network.
Because of the severe weather conditions experienced on Monday morning all waste collections were cancelled and garden waste collections have been stood down until further notice to allow our resources to be concentrated on domestic waste. We are unlikely to be able to conduct a full round of collections on Tuesday 21st December.
Households are being asked to put their waste out on their scheduled collection day. We will attempt to collect it, subject to weather conditions. If we are unable to collect waste, households have the following options:
· Leave waste out and we will do our best to catch-up – this should not cause an obstruction on the highway or pavement;
· Take the waste back into storage and put it out again on the next scheduled collection day;
· Take the waste to a collection point. These have been set-up at Odd Down Park & Ride (6.30am – 9.30pm), Newbridge Park & Ride (6.30am – 9.30pm), and Bath City FC Twerton (open all hours). These will also operate on Tuesday 21st December and will include recycling facilities from tomorrow. On Tuesday 21st December, a collection point will be established at Tescos, Midsomer Norton from 8.30am (open all hours);
· Households may also take it to their local Recycling Centre.
Staff will work Bank Holidays on Monday 27th, Tuesday 28th, and Sunday 2nd January 2011 if needs be.
In common with all local authorities nationwide, public safety is paramount when we make a decision on conducting waste collections during adverse weather conditions. When conditions are icy it is unsafe for both pedestrians and vehicles to have waste vehicles weighing up to 20 tonnes negotiating narrow residential streets and collecting waste.
In some cases, residents may have their recycling collected and residual waste not collected (or vice-versa). As well as varying conditions during the day being a factor, recycling vehicles are smaller and weigh less (around 12 tonnes compared to 20) than residual waste collection vehicles meaning they are more manoeuvrable.
Schools have now broken-up for Christmas holidays today.
The severe weather has affected some adult social care services with disruption to day services, health visits, and some activity groups. Adult care services, clients, carers and relatives should be assured if there is severe weather and any resulting problems with home care services or services for adults with learning difficulties, personal contact will be made with anyone who is expecting a service. This contact will be made by their care provider and they would be kept updated throughout the day. Contingency arrangements are in place to reach clients living in difficult locations.
Social care staff are on call 24 hours a day. If there are concerns about service provision they can be contacted through the St. Martins switchboard on 01225 831000.
The local media, including radio stations, are being issued with service status updates. However, the media cannot be relied upon to report every update. Subscribing to the Council’s Twitter Feed is the quickest way for residents to receive the latest information about our services – www.twitter.com/bathnes
Local residents can find also out the latest service situation by going to www.bathnes.gov.uk and clicking on ‘Severe Weather Updates’. Please encourage your local residents to use these methods of obtaining information wherever possible.