I had one of our ward councillors, James Stewart, knocking on my door this morning canvassing. He asked me if we had problems in Noel Pak during the last snowfall and I told him the pavements were like a skating rink and the ice took quite a while to melt. While it was not as bad as last winter, I certainly hoped the Council would consider gritting the pavements so the elderly and other residents could go about safely.

If you haven’t had the chance, do email our councillors and let them know what you think needs to be done. For our councillors’ details, click here.


A reminder:

Set timer switches to turn on lights in your home if you are returning after dusk.

When going out late afternoon/evening, to leave lights on as if you were at home.

Check on your elderly neighbours if they are living alone and offer them a hand.

Clearing snow and ice from pavements and public spaces:

The following advice has been issued by the Government:

What can I do to help clear snow and ice from the pavements and public spaces?

Practical advice from highway engineers is given below.  This is not a comprehensive list:

Start early; it is much easier to remove fresh, loose snow compared to compacted ice that has been compressed by people walking on it.

Do not use hot water.  This will melt the snow, but may replace it with black ice, increasing the risk of injury.

Be a good neighbour:  some people may be unable to clear snow and ice on paths leading to their property or indeed the footway fronting their property.  Snowfall and cold weather pose particular difficulties for them gaining access to and from their property or walking to the shops.

If shovelling snow, consider where you are going to put it, so that it does not block people’s paths, or block drainage channels.  This could shift the problem elsewhere.

Make a pathway down the middle of the area to be cleared first, so you have a clear surface to walk on.  Then you can shovel the snow from the centre to the sides.

Spreading some salt on the area you have cleared will help to prevent any ice forming.  Table salt or dishwasher salt will work, but avoid spreading on plants or grass as they may be damaged by it.  A few grams (a tablespoon) for each square metre you clear should work.  The salt found in salting bins will be needed for keeping roads clear. Particular care and attention should be given to steps and steep gradients to ensure snow and ice is removed.  You might need to apply additional salt to these areas

Use the sun to your advantage.  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 it refreezing overnight.

If there is no salt available, then a little sand or ash is a reasonable substitute.  It will not have the same de-icing properties as salt by should offer grip under foot.

Visit http://www.direct.gov.uk/preparingforemergencies for useful information on how you can prepare for the impacts of all emergencies.