Weather Update (22/12)

Overview Update
Below is a brief summary of the work on going in relation to the severe weather effects on West Berkshire:

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 in accordance with the winter service plan. We are also trying to improve footpath access in other areas.
Waste Collection crews attempted collections yesterday with between 75-80% being completed. Some trucks did get into difficulties for sometime in the snow but still managed to complete some of the rounds. The crews have been working very hard to try and get the collections completed before Christmas.
Some collections were not completed due to the snow and ice in particular we could not access some roads in the following areas: Aldworth, Beech hill, Bradfield, Bucklebury, Burghfield, Cold Ash (Slanting Hill), East Garston, Eastbury, Frilsham, Great Shefford, Greenham / Wash Common, Hermitage, Holybrook, Lower Basildon, Mortimer, Newbury, Purley, Streatly and Wokefield. In addition to Tuesdays collection we have been able to get back to some areas that could not be collected on Monday. The advice to residents at the moment is either to use the HWRC or mini recycling centres or to keep your bins out for collection and we will monitor the situation to see if we can return.

Any service updates can be found online at www.westberks.gov.uk/waste or www.westberks.gov.uk/emergency

Community Care –Homecare , Libraries , Day Centres and Childrens Centres.
There are still some limitations on these services however more are being opened. Please monitor the website for updates.

Public Transport
Most public transport in West Berkshire is now working but it can be intermittent with revised timetables. Please check before setting out.
Some useful links include: www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk and http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

Future Actions
Whilst work continues to deal with the current severe weather the Council are looking ahead and preparing for further severe weather and for the Festive Break.

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/83246787889

Weather
From the Met Office website for London & South East for today: Mainly dry with broken or overcast skies and some bright spells. Feeling very cold with brisk northeasterly winds. Temperatures will rise a couple of degrees above freezing on Kent coasts and in city centres, remaining below freezing inland. Maximum temperature 2 °C.
Tonight: Most places dry overnight with broken cloud. A few wintry are showers possible later. Remaining frosty overnight with fresh or strong northeasterly winds. Minimum temperature -3 °C. Thursday: It will be mainly cloudy although with some bright spells. A few snow showers are likely to develop as well. Again very cold with fresh or strong northeasterly winds. Maximum temperature 2° Outlook for Friday to Sunday: Cold with bright spells and some sleet or showers. Strong winds becoming light and variable by Saturday, then freshening from the southeast on Sunday with snow into Hampshire (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/se/se_forecast_weather.html)

Key messages for the Community and Public

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 are therefore 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.

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