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Cold Weather Warning
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 30 November 2010 23:33

Central London may see freezing temperatures this week and into the weekend, with some reports forecasting snow. We will keep you updated, but as a precaution we would urge all our residents, businesses and visitors to take extra care.

Parks

All parks in Westminster are currently reported as open.

Schools

All schools in Westminster are currently reported as open.

We are prepared, have ample supplies of grit and teams on standby ready to ensure we keep central London moving. But we’re asking everyone to do their bit too.

  • Keep a close eye on neighbours and vulnerable people – if you’re concerned about someone let us know

  • Clear away snow and ice from in front of your homes and businesses if it’s a hazard – just follow our clearing snow and ice guide

  • Please do keep warm. Pensioners may qualify for extra help and cold weather payments – see advice below

Last year Westminster was the first council in the UK to tell its residents to ignore scare stories that they could be sued for clearing snow and ice. Our guide below has since been adopted by the Government and issued to every single local authority in the country. If you follow it, you will be helping your local community.

Leader of Westminster City Council, Cllr Colin Barrow said: "We’ll be doing our bit, and we have plenty of grit and manpower to ensure the city keeps moving. But we also need a return to common sense and for people not to be afraid to pitch in and help themselves and anyone else who may be vulnerable in the cold weather.

"This includes checking in on that older or disabled neighbour and if necessary, picking up a shovel and clearing away any compacted ice and snow which may making an area dangerous. We've taken our own legal advice on this, and as long people do it properly, they have nothing to fear."

In Westminster more than 600 staff will be drafted in from across the waste and parks departments if snowfall is heavy.  The Council has also bought six new gritters fitted with GPS tracking, which will be used in conjunction with computer-controlled temperature sensors across the borough to see which roads require salting. 

A fleet of flatbed transit vans normally used to collect street litter is on standby and will be converted to send grit to old people's homes, schools and community centres and wherever it's needed. 

Guide to clearing ice and snow

  1. DO NOT USE HOT WATER. This will melt the slow, but will replace it with black ice, increasing the risk of injury.

  2. If shovelling snow: Use a shovel with the widest blade available. Make a line down the middle of your path first, so you have a safe surface to walk on. Then you can simply shovel the snow from the centre to the sides.

  3. Spread some ordinary table salt on the area you have cleared to prevent any ice forming. Ordinary salt will work and can be purchased cheaply from any local shop, but avoid spreading on plants or grass.

  4. Use the sun to your advantage. Simply removing the top layer of snow will allow the sun to melt any ice beneath, however you will need to cover any ice with salt to stop refreezing overnight.

Useful contacts

If you’re concerned about someone who may need help, do try and speak to them directly for reassurance. If you’re still worried, you can report your concerns to social services and we’ll investigate. But if there is an imminent danger to life you must dial 999 and speak to the emergency services.

Adult social services: 020 7641 1175 

NHS Direct: 0845 4647 or www.nhs.uk/nhsdirect

NHS Westminster (non-emergency, 24-hour): 020 8969 7777

For cold weather payments for over 60s who are owner occupiers contact us on 020 7641 6161 

westminster.gov.uk

 

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