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MP launches campaign for better response to extreme weather

January 8, 2010 12:00 AM

Following the chaos in South Lakeland on this week's roads and pavements caused by the heavy snowfall, local MP Tim Farron will be launching his campaign for a better response to extreme weather.

Tim will launch the campaign at the Birdcage in Kendal at 11am tomorrow (Saturday 9th January) and will call on the County Council to put together an effective emergency plan to ensure that they are better prepared for the next batch of cold weather.

Tim said, "The current extreme weather has been matched by an extreme failure by the County Council. Gritters and snow ploughs were not deployed to residential or rural areas once the main routes had been cleared. Grit was barely available for residents in the form of full grit bins or grit piles to allow them to clear their own roads and estates. The County Council failed to inform householders and businesses of the accurate legal position - leaving many to wrongly fear that if they did clear ice or snow, they might be liable for any injuries that occurred."

In addition the County Council allowed its stocks of grit to get so low that it is now having to ration its use. The District Council who was keen to allow its employees to help with the clearance were, until recently, prevented from doing so due to lack of grit and other resources from County.

Tim has also called on the County Council to target help at older residents who are trapped in their homes. "Older people and others who are trapped in their homes should be prioritised for help so that we can ensure that they can safely get out."

"We all need to muck in together to help each other out during these extreme conditions, but we must immediately learn the lessons. There must be an effective emergency plan in place so that the County Council's response to extreme conditions is one we can be proud of, rather than angered by. We will face more snow and ice over the next few weeks, so we have no time to lose."