Neath Port Talbot Council has begun its careful preparations to ensure staff are ready and fully equipped to deal with extreme weather when the winter of 2018-19 comes howling in.
Each summer, preparation begins for the upcoming winter period.
- Recruiting and training winter operatives.
- Re-stocking salt stocks.
- Re-stocking grit bins.
- Reviewing and addressing issues from the previous winter period.
- Producing an on-call rota.
The preparation process in Neath Port Talbot has now started for the coming season with a pre-order of 4,000 tonnes of salt having been placed with the Council’s suppliers to ensure the authority is stocked to maximum capacity of 7,500 tonnes of rock salt.
In a report on preparations for the Winter of 2018/19, members of the Council’s Streetscene and Engineering Cabinet Scrutiny Board were told this month the service was “tested” at times last winter due to issues concerning driving hours and duty time limits.
The Council’s gritting fleet has been serviced and salt dispensers calibrated to ensure the efficient spreading of salt across the Council’s treatment network.
Councillor Ted Latham, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Engineering, said:
“Our staff were praised last winter for their response to some pretty rough winter weather and they were particularly praised for assisting social services staff to get to hard-to-reach places using 4X4 vehicles.
“Being prepared is essential for dealing with wintry weather and the Council is, as usual, making an early start to ensure we do what we can to make our staff ready and equipped for what the winter of 2018/19 has to throw at them.”
In order to monitor and forecast conditions as well as daily advice in the winter from private forecasters, the Council has five scientific weather stations. These consist of two fixed outstations at Abernant and Banwen, and three remote sensor units with supporting deep and surface temperature probes, based at Melin Court, the Afan Valley and Kenfig Industrial Estate. These weather stations provide live local weather information to the Authority’s forecaster.