West Lothian Council prepares for winter

West Lothian Council, winter ready team
West Lothian Council, winter ready team

West Lothian Council is geared up to cope no matter what type of severe weather this winter throws at them.

The council launched its Winter Ready West Lothian 2014 campaign recently with executive councillor for the environment Tom Conn visiting the Guildiehaugh Depot in Bathgate to see the preparations first-hand.

The campaign highlights the council’s preparations for possible severe weather and encourages local people to prepare now. It is backed by West Lothian community planning partners such as Police Scotland and Fire and Rescue Scotland.

The council currently has a massive 30,000 tonnes of salt in stock, three times the amount used in a ‘normal’ winter, along with over 90 vehicles equipped to tackle winter conditions, such as gritters, tractors and snow steers.

The council has 100 staff trained to tackle winter conditions with further 160 staff available to swap to winter weather-related duties if required.

There are also 35 contractors on standby over the winter period bringing further manpower and machinery to assist if required.

This aims to ensure the council is prepared for all kinds of severe weather that can take place in winter including snow, frost and low temperatures, high winds and flooding.

Councillor Conn said: “Plans are in place to ensure West Lothian is well prepared to cope if we suffer severe weather this winter.

“Large amounts of salt are in place with trained staff ready to be deployed in our significant fleet of vehicles if snow falls or if we experience other extreme weather conditions such as flooding or high winds.

‘‘Other services across the council are also prepared to ensure essential services can still be delivered in the event of severe weather.

“Householders can also play their part to ensure they are prepared for winter as well by checking that pipes are lagged, they know how to turn off the water and their insurance policies are up to date.

“Parents and carers should check that their child’s school has up to date details and drivers can prepare their cars by checking tyres, anti-freeze and carrying a shovel.’’

More ideas for how to prepare are available on the council’s website at www.westlothian.gov.uk/winter