Our highways teams and adults’ and children’s social care teams pulled out all the stops during last week’s severe snowfall to help to keep the county moving and ensure elderly and vulnerable people received the care they needed.
County Council Leader Cllr Carl Les said: “We plan with our partners for severe weather, so we are equipped to ensure that everything possible is done to support residents in circumstances like last week’s extreme weather. It’s at times like these when Yorkshire grit and resolve come to the fore.”
On the roads, the County Council’s highways service was well prepared and since last Monday evening (26 February) until right through the weekend, its fleet of 86 gritters ran 24 hours a day to keep major routes open.
The authority received great support from its 111 farming contractors, who not only supported the operation on major roads, but were invaluable in helping to clear minor roads in more remote areas, particularly when high winds led to drifting snow. Their support enabled services and deliveries, including oil, milk and cattle feed, to get through. Gritters also cleared the way for fire and rescue services to deal with a chimney fire between Skewsby and Whenby.
The severe weather could result in damage to the road network and the County Council will respond to this. The authority is already planning its spring road repairs to tackle the ravages of winter. The 2018 schedule includes hundreds of roads that will be patched and dressed and others that will be completely resurfaced. Highways defects can be reported at www.northyorks.gov.uk/report-online.
Adult and children’s social care teams went the extra mile to ensure that care reached those who needed it. Members of staff dug their vehicles out of the snow and commandeered 4x4s to ensure they reached people in remote communities and put in extra shifts to make sure support was available. One worker carried on after having a car accident.
Cllr Les said: “I am extremely grateful for this commitment, but at the same time I’m not surprised. This is what our members of staff do when the need arises.
“This was an excellent example of co-operation all round with voluntary organisations, district councils and the emergency services. I am very pleased that the County Council continued to deliver its services, not only in keeping the roads as clear as possible, but also in looking after vulnerable adults and children.
“The weather did mean that, quite rightly, many of our schools had to close at some point for safety reasons. We are grateful for the efforts of head teachers who worked tirelessly to keep children safe and parents informed.
“Of course, it’s not just about public services. It’s about everyone playing their part, and I’m not surprised that so many people in North Yorkshire did just that. We are very grateful to all those who looked out for their neighbours and to motorists for heeding the advice to travel only if necessary.
“We realise some people are still feeling the effects of the weather, for example households in Ryedale that remained without power on Monday morning. We have every sympathy with them and hope Northern Power will reconnect them as soon as possible.”