Advice on staying safe and well during colder weather

17/12/2019, PR-9254

Wakefield Council is prepared for wintry weather and is advising residents to take action by planning ahead to stay safe and healthy during colder weather.

Cllr Matthew Morley with Snow Warden Denise Green
Cllr Matthew Morley with Snow Warden Denise Green

Should severe winter affect the district, the Council’s priority will be to keep the main roads moving and ensure that essential services stay open.

A fleet of 14 state-of-the-art gritters are prepped to disperse 4,700 tonnes of grit from our annual store to treat on all A and B roads, steep main roads to villages, housing or industrial estates and roads leading to main hospitals and large schools.

In fact, the roads we grit are used by more than 90 per cent of all the traffic in the district. On average, people are never more than 400 metres away from a treated route.

Teams are on-call round the clock, to monitor the weather and get the gritting teams out when they are needed – day or night.

There are 340 grit bins across the district and these will be restocked over the winter, as needed.

If people have to travel by car during these conditions, the advice is to plan ahead and keep up-to-date with the weather.

Residents are being asked to volunteer as Snow Wardens, to help keep pavements and areas around their homes clear of snow and ice. Snow Wardens will be asked to join forces to help their neighbours and more vulnerable citizens who can’t help themselves by clearing pavements, drives and local streets whilst the Council focuses on its priority routes.

Cllr Matthew Morley, Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways at Wakefield Council, said: “If you are able to come and join our army of Snow Wardens, please get in touch. This team of volunteers do an excellent job in supporting their local communities, helping their neighbours and vulnerable residents, and their combined efforts make a great contribution to the whole of our district.”

Cllr Faith Heptinstall
Cllr Faith Heptinstall

Residents are also being asked to check on their older and disabled neighbours and family members who may need extra support in the cold weather.

Opening times for pharmacies, GP practices and shops should also be checked, to ensure people have the medicines they need over the festive period.

Cllr Faith Heptinsall, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health at Wakefield Council, said: “At this time of year people with health conditions, or who are older, may be more susceptible to ill health. We want to encourage everyone to look after themselves and this includes taking up the offer of a free flu jab if you are eligible.”

Parents are being urged to take their two and three-year-old children to their GP for their free flu vaccination. The vaccine is given as a nasal spray and is quick and painless.

The flu vaccination is also free for pregnant women, people over 65-years-old and people with certain long-term illnesses, those in a long-stay residential care facility and carers. 

For further advice people are advised to speak to their GP, practice nurse or pharmacist, or read Public Health England’s flu vaccination leaflet.

For more information about winter health visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/seasonalhealth

Anybody worried about someone’s safety should contact Social Care Direct on 0345 8 503 503.

To sign up to become a Snow Warden call 0345 8 506 506 or go to www.wakefield.gov.uk/winter