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Be Prepared for Winter Weather

Refuse collection men working in snowy conditions

Weather Warning and Travel Information
Being Prepared for Winter
Looking out for the Vulnerable (Elderly/Disabled/Homeless)
School Closures in Adverse Weather
Waste and Recycling Collections
Disruption of Council Services
Gritting
Cold Weather Payments
Driving Safely
Snow Clearing
Utilities
Other Helpful Links

 

Weather Warning and Travel Information

Weather forecasts and warnings are provided on a regular basis by the Met Office. You can find more information on their website here.

Bus/tram and train services in Tameside are operated by Transport for Greater Manchester and National Rail respectively. Information about delays and disruptions to service due to adverse weather conditions can be found on their websites - TfGM and National Rail Enquiries.

Being Prepared for Winter

While adverse weather conditions can result in some difficulties and disruption, many of these can be mitigated or avoided entirely if the right preparation is undertaken.

Simple steps like ensuring you get at least 7-9 hours sleep a day, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables and staying active will help you keep healthy and active even in the worse of weather. If you are over 65, pregnant or have an underlying health condition you may also be eligible for a free flu jab. If at all possible, make sure you also keep your house at a minimum temperature of 18 degrees and wear suitable clothing indoors. Remember that even in the event of a power cut most houses will remain bearably warm for several hours if all windows and doors are closed.

There are a variety of websites that offer further helpful advice and tips on preparing yourself for winter, including the NHS, the British Red Cross and the Met Office’s Communities page.

Looking out for the Vulnerable (Elderly/Disabled/Homeless)

During periods of adverse weather in winter it becomes even more important to support vulnerable and older people. The Council will do as much as possible but we also ask local residents to keep an eye out for vulnerable older neighbours, family members, friends and homeless people who may be at greatest risk.

You can do this by considering who around you may be at risk from severe weather – e.g. an elderly or disabled neighbour – and making arrangements with them to help out with grocery shopping or other important tasks. Often just popping round every day to see if they are okay can make all the difference.

Age UK are currently running a Winter Wrapped Up campaign to help elderly people during the winter period.

If you are homeless or you are concerned about a homelehttps://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/winter-driving/ss person in your area you can contact Tameside Housing Advice for information and support.

Driving Safely

Winter is often the most challenging time for driving on roads. While snow and ice are the most common dangers, darkness, hail, rain, fog and flooding can also make driving significantly more difficult.

There are a variety of websites that offer tips and safety advice for winter driving, including the RAC, the AA and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. These include advice on preparing your vehicle, driving in poor conditions and what to do if you suffer difficulties.

School Closures in Adverse Weather

The decision to close a school in adverse weather is the responsibility of head teachers. Should a head teacher decide to close their school they are required to notify parents & guardians. If you want to find out if your child’s school is closed you should, in the first instance, look at the schools website and social media feeds, check for a text message or listen for updates on local radio.

Waste and Recycling Collections

The council will endeavour to operate waste and recycling services as scheduled during periods of adverse weather. If waste and refuse collection is impossible due to severely adverse weather conditions then we will inform residents via the council’s social media accounts. We always work to resume normal collections as soon as possible following disruption.

Disruption of Council Services

The Council will do its utmost to continue operating all essential and emergency services during severe winter weather. These services are Care Services and Social Services, registration of births and deaths and the operation of cemeteries. However non-essential services such as libraries, children’s centres and customer services may be closed or suspended in the event of severely adverse weather conditions. We will inform residents via our social media accounts as and when these situations occur.

Gritting

The Council is the Highway Authority responsible for the maintenance of public roads within Tameside. We receive a detailed forecast every day that gives predictions of the possibility of freezing road temperatures and the time those conditions may occur. This enables us to make informed decisions as to if, or when, gritting is necessary.

If gritting operations are deemed necessary we will inform residents via the council’s social media accounts. Remember that gritting does not melt snow and ice immediately. In very cold weather roads can remain icy for some time after grit has been spread.

The Council does not have the resources to grit every road in Tameside. Roads are therefore gritted on a priority basis. The complete list can be found here.

Cold Weather Payments

You may be eligible to receive a Cold Weather Payment if you’re getting certain benefits. For more information please visit the gov.uk website here.

Snow Clearing

There is no law preventing you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your property, pathways to your property or public spaces. It is very unlikely that you would face any legal liability, as long as you are careful, and use common sense to ensure that you do not make the pavement or pathway clearly more dangerous than before. People using areas affected by snow and ice also have responsibility to be careful themselves.

See also Snow Clearance advice on the Gov.UK website 

Utilities

Water infrastructure in Tameside is operated and maintained by United Utilities. Information about preventing burst or frozen pipes in winter can be found on their website here. You should also report any issues with water (e.g.: no water, low pressure or discoloured water) through their Help and Support page here.

Electricity North West operates and maintains the Tameside’s electricity distribution network, connecting properties and people in the region to the National Grid. In the event of a disruption or issue with your electricity supply you can contact them through their website here. In emergencies they can also be contacted on a 24-hour helpline at 0800 195 4141.

To report a gas or carbon monoxide emergency, or if a pipeline is struck (even if no gas leak has occurred), call the National Gas Emergency Service on their 24-hour helpline at 0800 111 999.

Other Helpful Links

Greater Manchester Police - If you are calling regarding a life-or-death issue then you can contact the GMP (and other emergency services) on 999 as normal. The police also operate a non-emergency 101 number for less urgent issues.

Fire and Rescue Service – The Fire Service web site can be found at http://manchesterfire.gov.uk/. They also have pages containing their own advice on staying warm safely in winter and on fire safety in general.

North West Ambulance Service - If you are calling regarding a life-or-death issue then you can contact the North West Ambulance Service (and other emergency services) on 999 as normal. The NHS also operates a non-emergency 111 number for less urgent issues. Visit http://www.nwas.nhs.uk/ for more information.

Radio – In the event of power cuts a battery-operated radio can be a good way of keeping yourself aware of news and weather conditions. Local radio stations for Tameside are BBC Radio Manchester (95.1FM), Key 103 Manchester (103FM) and Tameside Radio (103.6FM).

Follow us on Twitter Link to External Website and at www.tameside.gov.uk/winterpledge.

Image of Ashton-under-Lyne town centre in the snow