Hampshire and Southampton say “lessons to be learnt” following big chill

A gritter at work during the worst of the snow fall

A gritter at work during the worst of the snow fall

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Winchester Chief Reporter

COUNCIL chiefs last night said there were “lessons to be learnt” from the cold snap which gripped Hampshire for more than three weeks.

Freezing temperatures coupled with ice and snow brought havoc to the county’s roads and pavements with many residents stranded in their houses.

Hampshire County Council environment boss Mel Kendal said “everything that could be done was done” to keep main routes clear but said there were areas where “improvements could be made”.

Cllr Kendal said a review of the council’s response to the extreme weather, the worst for 30 years, would now be launched.

He said: “We will be reviewing the events of the past few weeks and our response, as well as assessing the impact that the prolonged spell of extreme weather has had on our roads network.

“We can assure people that, given the salt position nationally, we did everything possible to keep the main routes clear and to improve conditions on the busiest pavements, shopping centres and approaches to stations and health facilities.

“We also brought in sand and grit to improve grip on surfaces on some secondary roads including the busier residential roads and rural routes.

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“Undoubtedly, there will be lessons to be learnt and some areas where improvements can be made.

“We will ensure these are accounted for in our revised winter maintenance plans and future support for communities during episodes of extreme weather.”

Good-hearted Southampton residents tow an ambulance free

Southampton’s deputy council leader Royston Smith said he was pleased with how well the council coped with weather conditions.

He said the council took delivery of 160 tonnes of rock salt on Tuesday, enough to salt main roads for a week, and said grit bins were being refilled.

He said: “I’m very pleased with how well Southampton City Council has coped in conserving salt and grit supplies during what has been the most extreme weather conditions for 30 years.

“We went into the cold snap with more than 600 tonnes of salt, enough to deal with more than a week of the worst winter conditions, and we came out of this period with enough supplies to keep our main routes going.

“I know ideally we would have been able to grit all the well-used roads in the city but, due to the national shortage of rock salt, we have had to carefully conserve our supplies by reducing our winter salting by up to 45 per cent.

“We have had to do this to make sure this city continues to operate.”

Cllr Smith also thanked residents for helping the city to keep running throughout the cold weather.

Comments (15)

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9:13am Fri 15 Jan 10

freemantlegirl2 says...

They all ought to get together, Highways Agency, both Councils and have a strategic plan that isn't 'mismatched'. It seems Soton was a lot better off than Hants from what I've heard BUT it is a total fibbarooney that they gritted Mounbatten way in the early hours on the 23rd December and then claimed the frozen rain washed salt away. I was out from 5am that day, it wasn't gritted, came out to find my car encased in ice at 6.30 whilst in a car park of a supermarket, drove into town where it was precarious but by 9am when I came back home again it was utter chaos as roads hadn't been gritted. I saw city centre roads being gritted at around 8.30am/9. There ought to be a system that workers are picked up in 4x4's or other suitable vehicles and deployed throughout the night and diverted from other services like refuse/gardening etc and this written into their contracts and paid fairly for doing unsociable hours.

there also needs to be a community response where schools ask local residents/governors/
local teachers to help clear school playgrounds/car parks, ditto with hospitals (the pavements up Dale Road to the hospital were AWFUL! Residents should also take it upon themselves (if they are able to and fit and healthy) to take a shovel and clear the bit of pavement outside their own houses. In rural areas farmers with tractors should be signed up and reimbursed for fuel costs. All organisations should have teams of volunteers who they sign up in the Autumn to take action in these events. The AA warned the government that this country was ill-prepared and sadly it turned out to be true.

Parents at schools should also be consulted in autumn to decide if they want schools to be closed/whether they can keep them open for minimum of service/whether local teachers can go into their local school and teach if they cannot get to their own?

We should all be proactive to make things better in future.
They all ought to get together, Highways Agency, both Councils and have a strategic plan that isn't 'mismatched'. It seems Soton was a lot better off than Hants from what I've heard BUT it is a total fibbarooney that they gritted Mounbatten way in the early hours on the 23rd December and then claimed the frozen rain washed salt away. I was out from 5am that day, it wasn't gritted, came out to find my car encased in ice at 6.30 whilst in a car park of a supermarket, drove into town where it was precarious but by 9am when I came back home again it was utter chaos as roads hadn't been gritted. I saw city centre roads being gritted at around 8.30am/9. There ought to be a system that workers are picked up in 4x4's or other suitable vehicles and deployed throughout the night and diverted from other services like refuse/gardening etc and this written into their contracts and paid fairly for doing unsociable hours. there also needs to be a community response where schools ask local residents/governors/ local teachers to help clear school playgrounds/car parks, ditto with hospitals (the pavements up Dale Road to the hospital were AWFUL! Residents should also take it upon themselves (if they are able to and fit and healthy) to take a shovel and clear the bit of pavement outside their own houses. In rural areas farmers with tractors should be signed up and reimbursed for fuel costs. All organisations should have teams of volunteers who they sign up in the Autumn to take action in these events. The AA warned the government that this country was ill-prepared and sadly it turned out to be true. Parents at schools should also be consulted in autumn to decide if they want schools to be closed/whether they can keep them open for minimum of service/whether local teachers can go into their local school and teach if they cannot get to their own? We should all be proactive to make things better in future. freemantlegirl2
  • Score: 0

9:32am Fri 15 Jan 10

Nothing to say says...

A lot of fuss and bother about what "might" happen in extreme weather conditions that only effect this area once every 20 years.
.
Personally, I think the gritters did a good job around here. Well done to all the staff who helped clear the main roads. It's impossible to do every road, so they did their best.
.
If the council spent millions on more gritters and large stockpiles and more than likely, they weren't needed, no doubt the local paper and whingers would be saying "Councils waste taxpayers money".
A lot of fuss and bother about what "might" happen in extreme weather conditions that only effect this area once every 20 years. . Personally, I think the gritters did a good job around here. Well done to all the staff who helped clear the main roads. It's impossible to do every road, so they did their best. . If the council spent millions on more gritters and large stockpiles and more than likely, they weren't needed, no doubt the local paper and whingers would be saying "Councils waste taxpayers money". Nothing to say
  • Score: 0

10:26am Fri 15 Jan 10

Irate Wintonian says...

Southampton - Good
Eastleigh - Good
Winchester - Diabolical
Southampton - Good Eastleigh - Good Winchester - Diabolical Irate Wintonian
  • Score: 0

11:44am Fri 15 Jan 10

southy says...

Irate Wintonian wrote:
Southampton - Good
Eastleigh - Good
Winchester - Diabolical
dont for get to take into account that southampton and probley eastleigh is protected from the bad weather when it comes in from the north, one of the blessing's of the downs and the plain
[quote][p][bold]Irate Wintonian[/bold] wrote: Southampton - Good Eastleigh - Good Winchester - Diabolical[/p][/quote]dont for get to take into account that southampton and probley eastleigh is protected from the bad weather when it comes in from the north, one of the blessing's of the downs and the plain southy
  • Score: 0

12:37pm Fri 15 Jan 10

VIVERS says...

the council wont learn a lesson cos the same thing happened last year what make anyone think it will be any different the council is crap at organising anything but great at grabing money .
the council wont learn a lesson cos the same thing happened last year what make anyone think it will be any different the council is crap at organising anything but great at grabing money . VIVERS
  • Score: 0

1:47pm Fri 15 Jan 10

Paramjit Bahia says...

Council's and national government must be very slow learners. Because they keep on repeating this lame excuse.
Investment in few special needs teachers for these councillors may be a good idea. They could teach them how to face the facts and tell the truth, which in turn may help in building the people’s confidence in the parasites of democracy.
Council's and national government must be very slow learners. Because they keep on repeating this lame excuse. Investment in few special needs teachers for these councillors may be a good idea. They could teach them how to face the facts and tell the truth, which in turn may help in building the people’s confidence in the parasites of democracy. Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 0

1:51pm Fri 15 Jan 10

southy says...

Paramjit Bahia wrote:
Council's and national government must be very slow learners. Because they keep on repeating this lame excuse.
Investment in few special needs teachers for these councillors may be a good idea. They could teach them how to face the facts and tell the truth, which in turn may help in building the people’s confidence in the parasites of democracy.
its on the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC//cnwp), and are going to stand in some areas, barking is high on the list
[quote][p][bold]Paramjit Bahia[/bold] wrote: Council's and national government must be very slow learners. Because they keep on repeating this lame excuse. Investment in few special needs teachers for these councillors may be a good idea. They could teach them how to face the facts and tell the truth, which in turn may help in building the people’s confidence in the parasites of democracy.[/p][/quote]its on the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC//cnwp), and are going to stand in some areas, barking is high on the list southy
  • Score: 0

1:53pm Fri 15 Jan 10

soton1980 says...

Personally I think the council did quite a good job, all things considered. I bet all the moaners wouldn't like their tax bills increase to allow for more gritters to be held on standby! Countries like Russia, Norway, Sweden, etc, are able to get on with daily life with minimal disruption because the amount of snow they get justifies a full fleet of gritter trucks. This is not the case in the UK.
Personally I think the council did quite a good job, all things considered. I bet all the moaners wouldn't like their tax bills increase to allow for more gritters to be held on standby! Countries like Russia, Norway, Sweden, etc, are able to get on with daily life with minimal disruption because the amount of snow they get justifies a full fleet of gritter trucks. This is not the case in the UK. soton1980
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Fri 15 Jan 10

freemantlegirl2 says...

This will make you laugh. Been into town this morning to do some long overdue errands, was dreaming along, iPod on and slipped over, not on ice but on the grit that was on the pavement! I felt a right fool, but the guy who helped me up thank you, you wee lovely! :) exit one v. red-faced Freemantlegirl! (and yes I did have heels on but not impossibly high ones)
This will make you laugh. Been into town this morning to do some long overdue errands, was dreaming along, iPod on and slipped over, not on ice but on the grit that was on the pavement! I felt a right fool, but the guy who helped me up thank you, you wee lovely! :) exit one v. red-faced Freemantlegirl! (and yes I did have heels on but not impossibly high ones) freemantlegirl2
  • Score: 0

2:02pm Fri 15 Jan 10

stickymcglue says...

On december 29th , a climate scientist announced that the UK would experience a severe cold weather event lasting until the 15th January. He was ignored because he is not one of the global warming sheep who tell us a load of crud to remain on the gravy train. The cold weather was caused by an extreme negative phase of the arctic ascillation and if the government and councils has listened to him instead of the scientists-on-the-ta
ke at the MET office who talk utter rubbish then rock-salt shipments from Italy would have been already here as the UK simply can not mine enough of its own rock-salt once we are short on supplies due to lack of fore-sight.
There is abolutely no reason whatsoever that councils should have had to run short of rock-salt apart from complete and utter government incompitence
On december 29th , a climate scientist announced that the UK would experience a severe cold weather event lasting until the 15th January. He was ignored because he is not one of the global warming sheep who tell us a load of crud to remain on the gravy train. The cold weather was caused by an extreme negative phase of the arctic ascillation and if the government and councils has listened to him instead of the scientists-on-the-ta ke at the MET office who talk utter rubbish then rock-salt shipments from Italy would have been already here as the UK simply can not mine enough of its own rock-salt once we are short on supplies due to lack of fore-sight. There is abolutely no reason whatsoever that councils should have had to run short of rock-salt apart from complete and utter government incompitence stickymcglue
  • Score: 0

4:22pm Fri 15 Jan 10

B. L. says...

southy wrote:
Paramjit Bahia wrote:
Council's and national government must be very slow learners. Because they keep on repeating this lame excuse.
Investment in few special needs teachers for these councillors may be a good idea. They could teach them how to face the facts and tell the truth, which in turn may help in building the people’s confidence in the parasites of democracy.
its on the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC//cnwp), and are going to stand in some areas, barking is high on the list
OK southy, I give in. What are they going to stand in and why, and what do dogs have to do with the weather, as I seem to have lost the plot somewhere.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Paramjit Bahia[/bold] wrote: Council's and national government must be very slow learners. Because they keep on repeating this lame excuse. Investment in few special needs teachers for these councillors may be a good idea. They could teach them how to face the facts and tell the truth, which in turn may help in building the people’s confidence in the parasites of democracy.[/p][/quote]its on the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC//cnwp), and are going to stand in some areas, barking is high on the list[/p][/quote]OK southy, I give in. What are they going to stand in and why, and what do dogs have to do with the weather, as I seem to have lost the plot somewhere. B. L.
  • Score: 0

5:46pm Fri 15 Jan 10

freemantlegirl2 says...

Parmi I wish you wouldn't imply that Councillors have special needs. My sons both go to special school, and sadly maybe won't ever be lucky enough to hold public office like that (although I'd like to see more people with learning disability involved and taken seriously). That sort of comment really does learning disabled children and people no good whatsoever and is very offensive. Sorry if I go on about this always but this is my passion and if I don't point it out to people nothing will ever change for the better.

Southy, eh???? lol perhaps I hit my head in my fall because I don't understand a word of what you put lol!
Parmi I wish you wouldn't imply that Councillors have special needs. My sons both go to special school, and sadly maybe won't ever be lucky enough to hold public office like that (although I'd like to see more people with learning disability involved and taken seriously). That sort of comment really does learning disabled children and people no good whatsoever and is very offensive. Sorry if I go on about this always but this is my passion and if I don't point it out to people nothing will ever change for the better. Southy, eh???? lol perhaps I hit my head in my fall because I don't understand a word of what you put lol! freemantlegirl2
  • Score: 0

9:56pm Fri 15 Jan 10

downfader says...

Freemantlegirl - in response to your first post... I dont think its right or fair to divert people from other jobs in the way you seemed to imply, it also means a load of job description, maybe even training changes and this would end up costing.
.
I know in my own employment people have said similar changes, and tbh I thought it was unfair and ended up having to fight my employers over it.
.
I think the councils did fine, as did the workers. We have to remember we as individuals also need to prepare, we cant just rely on government and councils to all the work for us. We also have to remember as said by others that other countries cope well, they also have a lot more to deal with. Many have higher taxes to cope with this (Finland for example pays an income tax of something like 48%)
.
So buy the spiked shoe covers, the car winter tyres, etc. Other countries like Canada's citizens even shovel the snow off the pavements outside their homes themselves.
Freemantlegirl - in response to your first post... I dont think its right or fair to divert people from other jobs in the way you seemed to imply, it also means a load of job description, maybe even training changes and this would end up costing. . I know in my own employment people have said similar changes, and tbh I thought it was unfair and ended up having to fight my employers over it. . I think the councils did fine, as did the workers. We have to remember we as individuals also need to prepare, we cant just rely on government and councils to all the work for us. We also have to remember as said by others that other countries cope well, they also have a lot more to deal with. Many have higher taxes to cope with this (Finland for example pays an income tax of something like 48%) . So buy the spiked shoe covers, the car winter tyres, etc. Other countries like Canada's citizens even shovel the snow off the pavements outside their homes themselves. downfader
  • Score: 0

8:20am Sat 16 Jan 10

freemantlegirl2 says...

downfader wrote:
Freemantlegirl - in response to your first post... I dont think its right or fair to divert people from other jobs in the way you seemed to imply, it also means a load of job description, maybe even training changes and this would end up costing.
.
I know in my own employment people have said similar changes, and tbh I thought it was unfair and ended up having to fight my employers over it.
.
I think the councils did fine, as did the workers. We have to remember we as individuals also need to prepare, we cant just rely on government and councils to all the work for us. We also have to remember as said by others that other countries cope well, they also have a lot more to deal with. Many have higher taxes to cope with this (Finland for example pays an income tax of something like 48%)
.
So buy the spiked shoe covers, the car winter tyres, etc. Other countries like Canada's citizens even shovel the snow off the pavements outside their homes themselves.
So you're saying then if the dustmen can't do their rounds because of the snow and ice, that it's cost effective to have them sat around for a couple of weeks!! I think not! Council workers are public servants and have to remember that we ALL have to adapt sometimes in tough times. I saw some local teachers out shovelling snow, is that in their job description?

Appreciate it may not be appropriate in every circumstance but these snaps are only for a few weeks' a year and if workers are prevented from doing their usual job, are fit to do so, then they should be diverted to emergency cover and as I said paid appropriately for unsociable hours.

The Councils and Government had warnings of these cold snaps, both by scientists and organisations like the AA, they chose to ignore it. The cost of not dealing with it properly (think of police time contacting people to come and get abandoned cars alone) will run into millions. Canada and the Nordic countries have a lot longer winter and severe conditions for longer I think you'll find their general standard of living is much higher than ours because of the higher taxes too!
[quote][p][bold]downfader[/bold] wrote: Freemantlegirl - in response to your first post... I dont think its right or fair to divert people from other jobs in the way you seemed to imply, it also means a load of job description, maybe even training changes and this would end up costing. . I know in my own employment people have said similar changes, and tbh I thought it was unfair and ended up having to fight my employers over it. . I think the councils did fine, as did the workers. We have to remember we as individuals also need to prepare, we cant just rely on government and councils to all the work for us. We also have to remember as said by others that other countries cope well, they also have a lot more to deal with. Many have higher taxes to cope with this (Finland for example pays an income tax of something like 48%) . So buy the spiked shoe covers, the car winter tyres, etc. Other countries like Canada's citizens even shovel the snow off the pavements outside their homes themselves.[/p][/quote]So you're saying then if the dustmen can't do their rounds because of the snow and ice, that it's cost effective to have them sat around for a couple of weeks!! I think not! Council workers are public servants and have to remember that we ALL have to adapt sometimes in tough times. I saw some local teachers out shovelling snow, is that in their job description? Appreciate it may not be appropriate in every circumstance but these snaps are only for a few weeks' a year and if workers are prevented from doing their usual job, are fit to do so, then they should be diverted to emergency cover and as I said paid appropriately for unsociable hours. The Councils and Government had warnings of these cold snaps, both by scientists and organisations like the AA, they chose to ignore it. The cost of not dealing with it properly (think of police time contacting people to come and get abandoned cars alone) will run into millions. Canada and the Nordic countries have a lot longer winter and severe conditions for longer I think you'll find their general standard of living is much higher than ours because of the higher taxes too! freemantlegirl2
  • Score: 0

9:35pm Sun 17 Jan 10

downfader says...

freemantlegirl2 wrote:
downfader wrote: Freemantlegirl - in response to your first post... I dont think its right or fair to divert people from other jobs in the way you seemed to imply, it also means a load of job description, maybe even training changes and this would end up costing. . I know in my own employment people have said similar changes, and tbh I thought it was unfair and ended up having to fight my employers over it. . I think the councils did fine, as did the workers. We have to remember we as individuals also need to prepare, we cant just rely on government and councils to all the work for us. We also have to remember as said by others that other countries cope well, they also have a lot more to deal with. Many have higher taxes to cope with this (Finland for example pays an income tax of something like 48%) . So buy the spiked shoe covers, the car winter tyres, etc. Other countries like Canada's citizens even shovel the snow off the pavements outside their homes themselves.
So you're saying then if the dustmen can't do their rounds because of the snow and ice, that it's cost effective to have them sat around for a couple of weeks!! I think not! Council workers are public servants and have to remember that we ALL have to adapt sometimes in tough times. I saw some local teachers out shovelling snow, is that in their job description? Appreciate it may not be appropriate in every circumstance but these snaps are only for a few weeks' a year and if workers are prevented from doing their usual job, are fit to do so, then they should be diverted to emergency cover and as I said paid appropriately for unsociable hours. The Councils and Government had warnings of these cold snaps, both by scientists and organisations like the AA, they chose to ignore it. The cost of not dealing with it properly (think of police time contacting people to come and get abandoned cars alone) will run into millions. Canada and the Nordic countries have a lot longer winter and severe conditions for longer I think you'll find their general standard of living is much higher than ours because of the higher taxes too!
The dustmen already struggle to fit the rounds in as it is. I think it would be unfair to levy extra duties on them. As I said above it should be down to us to cope, not for officials and public servants to do everything for us.
.
There is ofcourse an element of mucking in sometimes (as in the case of the teachers), and it should be remembered that this is not part of their job. The section of pavement outside my home was cleared, as was part of the road - by me. I did not expect an official body to do this for me, and if we all took our part things would be quite a lot simpler.
[quote][p][bold]freemantlegirl2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]downfader[/bold] wrote: Freemantlegirl - in response to your first post... I dont think its right or fair to divert people from other jobs in the way you seemed to imply, it also means a load of job description, maybe even training changes and this would end up costing. . I know in my own employment people have said similar changes, and tbh I thought it was unfair and ended up having to fight my employers over it. . I think the councils did fine, as did the workers. We have to remember we as individuals also need to prepare, we cant just rely on government and councils to all the work for us. We also have to remember as said by others that other countries cope well, they also have a lot more to deal with. Many have higher taxes to cope with this (Finland for example pays an income tax of something like 48%) . So buy the spiked shoe covers, the car winter tyres, etc. Other countries like Canada's citizens even shovel the snow off the pavements outside their homes themselves.[/p][/quote]So you're saying then if the dustmen can't do their rounds because of the snow and ice, that it's cost effective to have them sat around for a couple of weeks!! I think not! Council workers are public servants and have to remember that we ALL have to adapt sometimes in tough times. I saw some local teachers out shovelling snow, is that in their job description? Appreciate it may not be appropriate in every circumstance but these snaps are only for a few weeks' a year and if workers are prevented from doing their usual job, are fit to do so, then they should be diverted to emergency cover and as I said paid appropriately for unsociable hours. The Councils and Government had warnings of these cold snaps, both by scientists and organisations like the AA, they chose to ignore it. The cost of not dealing with it properly (think of police time contacting people to come and get abandoned cars alone) will run into millions. Canada and the Nordic countries have a lot longer winter and severe conditions for longer I think you'll find their general standard of living is much higher than ours because of the higher taxes too![/p][/quote]The dustmen already struggle to fit the rounds in as it is. I think it would be unfair to levy extra duties on them. As I said above it should be down to us to cope, not for officials and public servants to do everything for us. . There is ofcourse an element of mucking in sometimes (as in the case of the teachers), and it should be remembered that this is not part of their job. The section of pavement outside my home was cleared, as was part of the road - by me. I did not expect an official body to do this for me, and if we all took our part things would be quite a lot simpler. downfader
  • Score: 0

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