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Keeping Medway Moving during severe weather

28 February 2018

As heavy snowfall settled across Medway on Tuesday, council staff worked hard to keep essential services running.

Gritting crews worked throughout the night on Sunday and Monday to cover Medway’s main routes. Medway Council's winter service staff are working around the clock to monitor and minimise disruption caused by the severe weather.

Staff are continuing to refill the 455 residential salt bins. Although salt does not prevent snow from settling, it can help prevent ice from forming. Residents are asked to use the salt from the yellow residential bins for public footpaths and roads to benefit all of the community, and not on their own property.

Due to the heavy snowfall, road conditions proved difficult for refuse, recycling and organic waste collections and the service was suspended for safety reasons. However, staff opened Capstone and Cuxton household waste and recycling centres for a few hours yesterday morning to give residents an opportunity to dispose of any waste and recycling. Residents are asked to take their waste in overnight to keep the footpaths clear and if weather conditions improve, collections will resume on Wednesday – further information will be provided on Wednesday morning.

Providing support to Medway’s most vulnerable residents

Leisure centres, libraries, community hubs, the archives centre and the visitor information centre were opened as usual to the public on Tuesday morning, and as conditions worsened they were closed at midday. 

Kingsley House in Balmoral Road, Gillingham, was open as normal on Tuesday morning and staff assisted customers until 4pm. The housing team then implemented an out of hours service, which remains in place on 01634 304400, to assist people in need of urgent housing help - the severe weather emergency protocol remains in place in Medway, with rough sleepers being encouraged to take up the emergency accommodation being offered. Council staff are continuing to work with colleagues from partner agencies in the Homelessness Forum to tell as many rough sleepers as possible that accommodation is available to them.

Council staff prioritised help for the most vulnerable residents across Medway, including those who live in sheltered housing schemes. In addition, the council’s telephone helplines were open as usual on Tuesday, with staff helping the public on a range of matters and council services.

Although Rochester Castle was closed to the public, it provided a great opportunity for people in the area to capture some picturesque, wintry photos.

Stay well this winter

Medway Council is reminding residents of the steps they can take to stay well this winter:
• Make sure that you stay warm. If going outside make sure you dress appropriately. If indoors, make sure that you keep your heating to the right temperature; heating your home to at least 18°C in winter poses minimal risk to your health when you are wearing suitable clothing.
• If there is anyone you know who might be at special risk, for example, an older person living on their own, make sure they know what to do to stay warm and are well stocked with food and medications.
• If you are worried about your health or that of somebody you know, ring NHS 111

Staff working through the night to help keep Medway moving

Cllr Phil Filmer, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Front Line Services, said: “Thank you to all the staff who worked through the night to help keep Medway moving. Gritting salt continues to be spread on our main routes to help prevent ice from forming and teams of staff are refilling the hundreds of residential salt bins across Medway.

“I’d also like to thank our snow wardens who have volunteered their time in communities across Medway to help keep footpaths as clear as possible. Thank you also to residents and motorists for your patience during this period of extreme weather conditions. More snow and severe weather is forecast over the next few days and we will continue to do all we can to keep Medway’s roads open, as well as provide support to our most vulnerable residents.”

Get updates on disruption to council services

Any disruption to services will be posted on social media:
• Twitter: @medway_council
• Facebook: MedwayCouncilUpdates (Medway Council – service updates and information)
• For updates on disruption at sports centres, please follow @MedwaySport on Twitter or @MedwaySportOfficial on Facebook