I just wanted to pay tribute to the people of my town, Prudhoe, and the dedicated workers at the coal face who have worked for over a week tirelessly to keep it on its feet despite well over a foot of snow and temperatures that hit minus 15 centigrade on Friday morning.
This “snow event”, as I once saw it described in a council report, has been severe and when you live in a town built on a very steep slope, has the potential to cause chaos. At times the major roads were a bit dicey but the farmers employed by Northumberland County Council have done a great job gritting and ploughing the estates. One told me that the diesel in his tractor froze on Friday morning but he patiently warmed it up and got on with it. I am going to find out his name because he has done a superb job on estates in my ward.
The roads are only just passable in places and pavements are still not treated outside of town but residents have also played their part, looking after vulnerable neighbours and digging their streets out.
The only areas in which I think improvement is still needed is in Grit Bins and helping vulnerable residents. The County Council had a problem last year in that it didn't know where all the grit bins were. A lot of work went into logging their location but, for some reason, the bins haven't been numbered to help the residents let the council know where they are when they need refilling.
Also I feel we should help establish a vulnerable people register so volunteers can ensure our elderly and vulnerable people are OK in this kind of weather. I have seen a very successful project in North Yorkshire, where it happens a bit more.