Weather Update (21/12)

Treatment of the Road Network.
Treatment continues on our network in accordance with the winter service plan with no major issues reported. Obviously, not the entire road network is part of the winter service plan
therefore care needs to be taken still and if travelling people and cars need to be prepared for the conditions. Salt bins are being replenished in between treatment of the main routes. Note these are for the purpose of using on the network and pavements and not for private use.

Footpaths.
The footpaths in the main town centres have been treated again in accordance with the winter service plan. We are also trying to improve footpath access to some buildings including GP surgeries etc
Waste. Yesterday the Collection crews managed to collect between 75-80% of the normal collection. However due to the snow and ice they could not access some roads in the following areas: Basildon, Bradfield, Compton, Combe, Enborne, Englefield, Holybrook, Kintbury, Mortimer, Newbury, Pangbourne, Purley, Speen, Stockcross, Sulham, Theale, Tidmarsh and Wash Common. The Waste Collection teams are currently out in the district attempting to undertake the normal waste collections where they can. There is likely to be some disruption to this service. The advice to residents at the moment is either to use the HWRC or mini recycling centres or to keep the bins out for collection and we will monitor the situation to see if we can return. Newtown Road Household Waste Recycling Centre is open.

Community Care –Homecare
The Homecare team have activated their plans to support the vulnerable in the community. Staff are doubling up on car trips for safety and are walking to many clients. The day centres are currently closed.

Libraries
Newbury is now open but the mobile service continues to be suspended. Other Services – there is disruption to the Day Care Centres and Children’s centres so please check the websites
for more information.

Public Transport
Public Transport – most public transport in West Berkshire is now working but it can be intermittent with revised timetables. Please check before setting out. There is still disruption to other transport outside the area so please check before you set off. Some useful links include: www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk & http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

More Updates:
For more updates on the current status of services to log in to the Councils website. Please encourage your staff, friends and family to use the website as the first point of contact for updates on services rather than contacting the Customer Services. (links are below).In addition they can get information from Facebook and Twitter.
http://www.westberks.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=295
http://twitter.com/#!/westberkshire
http://www.facebook.com/pages/West-Berkshire/832467878892

Weather
From the Met Office for the South East, today should be relatively quiet. With a lot of cloud around there could be occasional snow flurries almost anywhere but no great amounts are expected during Tuesday daytime. Later today and through tonight though there is an increasing risk of further snow, some of it heavy, in some areas. Current ideas suggest that the Thames Valley area, particularly Oxon, Bucks and Milton Keynes, and counties to the north of London are most at risk. The risk continues into Wednesday morning. We could see 2- 5cm generally and a few places could see 10 or more centimetres falling in quite a short space of time. At this
stage though confidence in amounts is at best moderate. A little more snow for southern counties during this period is possible but looks a much lower risk but it will be worth keeping an eye on via the radar images
(http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/radar/). The main area of snow should peter out during Wednesday afternoon. For the rest of the week and into the weekend we should mostly be restricted to problems with ice and some freezing fog patches. Kent and East Sussex may see some snow showers running across on a brisk northeast wind but this risk should decrease as we go into the weekend. Any thaw of lying snow will be slow during the day with re-freezing overnight. Looking further ahead into next week, below are current thoughts for the UK as a whole which might be helpful. Turning milder, quite possibly with strong winds and heavy rain preceded by some temporary snow. The most likely timing for this transition is in the period 26th – 28th December, though with the risk (30 percent) that the cold conditions will not be displaced. Indications are that the period into the New Year will see a gradual return to settled weather with night time frosts, especially in the north, though not as cold as the current spell.
(http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/se/se_forecast_weather.html)

What you can do…..


Be a good neighbour.

Many elderly, infirm and people living on their own may need help in clearing drives, getting food and keeping warm. Please check on your neighbours and make sure they are OK helping where
you can. Help your community by clearing pavements to make it safer for all – guidance on how to do it safely is found on Direct Gov website. Guidance on Pavement Clearance by the community Check on water pipes especially if the temperatures start to rise. If you are going away and leaving your property empty this is especially important. More guidance is available on Thames Waters Web pages.

Thames Water Top tips
Some stretches of water that run through West Berkshire, lakes and garden ponds have frozen. People aretherefore advised not to attempt to walk on frozen expanses of water as this is very dangerous. The ice that
has formed may not be very thick and in these conditions a fall into frozen water can be life threatening.

West Berkshire Council Winter Service Plan

Below you can can find a link to the ‘West Berkshire Council Winter Service Plan’, this contains useful information and advice during this cold and snowy period.
WBC Winter Service Plan 2010

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