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Rhondda Cynon Taf Council announce new measures to help communities during extreme winter weather

Cabinet has agreed for the Council to implement a number of measures to allow residents to stay safe and informed, and to help each other, during extreme winter weather.

Members considered an Officer report on Thursday, October 18, outlining the recommendations of the Public Service Delivery, Communities and Prosperity Scrutiny Working Group after a Notice of Motion to Full Council on September 19 – for the Council to establish a ‘Voluntary Snow Warden’ scheme.

The Working Group agreed with the scheme in principle, but were keen to see a different model pursued which would demonstrate a commitment by the Council to encourage communities to come together and help each other during extreme weather. The Working Group agreed to put forward a number of recommendations in a targeted approach to empowering local communities, which Cabinet Members agreed to on Thursday. They include:

  • A dedicated hotline number offering support during periods of inclement weather.
  • A dedicated campaign to promote community self help – communities coming together to help each other on a voluntary basis during extreme weather – and encouraging residents to become ‘good neighbours’.
  • Practical guidance and good practice for community action shared on the Council’s website.
  • Further work to be undertaken in respect of the public liability aspect of insurance for voluntary work, undertaken in a safe manner.

The Cabinet agreed to take forward a number of these recommendations.

Councillor Steve Bradwick, Chair of the Public Service Delivery, Communities and Prosperity Scrutiny Committee, said: “I am pleased that a number of the recommendations proposed by the Working Group are to be taken forward by Cabinet, which will see a number of new measures introduced to encourage residents to come together and stay informed, during times of extreme winter weather.

“The County Borough experienced two main periods of snow last winter – in December 2017 and March 2018 – and the Council’s proactive approach and excellent response was widely praised.

“The Working Group discussed the issue of how the Council can be even better prepared for extreme weather, and considered the Notice of Motion to introduce Voluntary Snow Wardens. While supporting this in principle, the Working Group raised a number of issues – including the considerable activity required to set up such a scheme.

“However, the group put forward to Cabinet a number of recommendations for extreme weather.

“The recommendations focus on targeting residents more effectively, to encourage them to be better prepared in the run up to extreme weather – and how they can help vulnerable members of the community through these times.

“The Council has also bought three new 4x4 vehicles, which are equipped with snow ploughs, allowing the Council to clear smaller side streets that its larger lorries cannot. I look forward to the recommendations being discussed by Full Council later this month, following Cabinet’s support.”

Posted on Monday 22nd October 2018