Burnmouth plans ahead

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warnings that this coming winter could be as bad, or even worse than the last one has prompted Burnmouth residents to put together an action plan before the snow and ice arrive.

“Last winter caused big problems for some people in and around the village - prescriptions and other medical needs came top of the list of concerns,” said Burnmouth Community Council chairman Joan Wilson.

“Burnmouth Community Council members believe that there are people who have four wheel drive vehicles, or are going to Berwick or Eyemouth by bus who would be willing to help if they were aware where the needs are.

“If a scheme could be organised (by telephone contacts) it would be sure to bring some peace of mind to those who are cut off by snow or ice.”

To get the ball rolling villagers are being invited to go along to the next community council meeting on Wednesday, October 19, at 7.30pm in the village hall.

“If it is not possible to come to the meeting but you are willing to help please phone 81231,” urged Mrs Wilson.

As well as the Burnmouth community turning their thoughts to preparing for winter, Scottish Borders Council has been doing the same.

An SBC spokesman said: “We have 19,000 tonnes of salt in stock for the current year, and we run a salt stock management system with our supplier Cleveland Potash to ensure sufficient supplies are maintained throughout the winter. This supply is dependant on the severity of winter throughout the UK.

“All salt bins were left out over the summer months as part of a savings exercise, these are now being surveyed to ascertain their condition how much salt remains, and how much is needed to top them up. All plant and equipment is currently being checked in order to ensure that when winter weather starts we are ready.

“The council at this time intends to run the same level of service as previous years in terms of the treatment of priority routes and we are continuing to support the development of community led resilience teams.

“At the community council conference last week, SBC presented a report on working with communities to set up a team of local people who would liaise with them in circumstances of a severe nature.

“In cases of emergencies where operations are being managed from the emergency bunker at SBC there is an arrangement in place where a private organisation can provide the use of 4x4 vehicles for extreme emergencies. This service is managed by the Lothian 4x4 duty controller and emergency planning officers and is used to provide transport for patients who have chemotherapy or dialysis appointments at the hospital.”

Scotland’s roads bosses are also prepared for wintry weather, and as he inspected Scotland’s estimated £15 million winter service, Transport Minister Keith Brown was told that six new weather stations have been commissioned and 24 existing stations now have cameras added.

“Keeping Scotland moving is vital to the Scottish economy, and we have built on the experience of last two harsh winters,” said Mr Brown.

“We are working with our partners across the public and private sector to ensure our winter service is as prepared as possible.

“Our salt stocks are at 70% of the total levels used last year but no roads authority can guarantee to keep roads free from snow and ice.

“When severe weather comes there will be disruption but our operating companies are better prepared to get Scotland moving again due to our focus on improvement since last winter.

“We’ve improved how we get information to our road users and they can play their part too. I ask people to check road conditions and all public transport alternatives. Advance journey planning can help speed up journey times for businesses and commuters this winter, whilst bringing benefits for the environment.

“Our key aim is that, when disruption does occur, we can pull together to tackle conditions as quickly as possible and get the country moving again.”