Plans in place to deal with the upcoming adverse weather

Torbay Council is prepared to deal with any problems caused by the snow and ice forecast in the next few days. Highways, Public Health, Adult Social Care and Housing Options Team have all activated plans to deal with any issue the weather may bring.

The Emergency Planning team has been attending multi-agency preparedness meetings which have been established to assess the risk and the potential impacts of the severe weather that has been forecast for this week. If required, the council will establish an emergency management team to manage any impacts caused by severe weather in Torbay.

An Amber warning for snow and ice is currently in place for Torbay, and the council has taken the following steps to deal with the adverse weather conditions:

The Highways team is currently operating their Winter Maintenance Plan which involves monitoring forecasts and calling appropriate action based on the predicted weather. Roads on the network of treated areas are being routinely treated with salt and Street Scene Inspectors will continue to check the roads with further gritting planned. In the worst case scenario, gritters can be mounted with ploughs, however please ensure that you always check weather forecasts before starting your journey as not all roads can be gritted or ploughed.

Torbay Council’s Public Health team is reminding people to stay warm during this period of cold weather to prevent colds, flu and more serious health issues. It is recommended that you heat your home to at least 18C and look out for those around you, especially vulnerable people who are more at risk during cold weather.

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust have well tested winter plans in place that have been implemented so that they are able to continue with the safe delivery of care to all of their patients and service users.

These plans identify additional measures that can be taken to ensure that vulnerable people are kept safe, well and warm during cold weather. This includes ensuring that community nursing teams are still able to get out to see their patients, contingency plans should any staff be unable to get in to work as well as an early alert system should any of their providers experience any difficulties in delivering community care so that alternative support can be put in place quickly.

It is important that everyone checks on older neighbours and relatives during winter, especially during a cold snap. Looking out for those around you can help them to stay well and by popping in, even if it’s just for a cup of tea, can make a big difference to that person’s wellbeing.

The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) has been activated by the Housing Options team. When the temperature drops to zero degrees or below, the council provides additional accommodation to rough sleepers to protect against such severe conditions, covered under the SWEP. Current conditions have reached the point that such extra provision needs to be made and is now being provided in conjunction with the Street Pastors and Shekinah. This is in addition to the extra seasonal shelter provided by local churches under their Torbay Winter Night Shelter (TOWNS) initiative. To access TOWNS (until 14 March) persons must register between 5-6pm at Gerston Christian Centre in Paignton.

Anyone wishing to access SWEP during this particularly cold spell of weather should attend Victoria Park Church, Plainmoor, Torquay. Usually SWEP would be provided at the Leonard Stocks Hostel in Factory Row and will continue to do so once current refurbishments have been completed. Anyone with a housing need is also urged to contact Torbay Council’s Housing Options Service on 01803208723.

Schools should have business continuity plans in place to keep their schools open and will maintain communication with parents and staff should a decision be taken to close them.