HCC staff have been working hard to respond to the level of snow that Hertfordshire is currently experiencing and there have been meetings held during the day to monitor the situation, review services and determine any action that needs to be taken to ensure that we are maintaining the highest possible levels of service to residents.
The snow has had a severe impact on the road networks, and I understand you have been receiving update emails during the day on the actions being undertaken in respect of gritting the roads. A further run took place at 7 pm and there will be another at 4 am.
More snow is expected until around 2 am with temperatures dropping below zero and then sleet and rain expected at around 9 am.
Herts Fire and Rescue Service have been responding to incidents, and are coordinating the volunteer network of 4×4 drivers as part of our adverse weather plans. These incredible volunteers have been busy all day transporting patients being discharged from hospitals, rescue stranded cars (when considered safe to do so) and supporting social care colleagues if transport is required urgently.
Adult Care Services have been able to maintain their 7 day service today with all staff travelling to their hospital workbase. Service providers have triggered their own snow plans and, as at 5.00 pm, were not reporting any major issues. If there are any issues regarding service delivery tomorrow, providers will be prioritising time critical calls and requesting that family and friends support non-critical calls wherever possible. Managers are preparing for tomorrow to look to ensure patient discharges are being managed effectively.
Over 350 schools have advised that they are going to be closed on Monday, and further notifications are likely to come in during the night and early morning.
A decision was taken just after 10 am this morning to close all waste and recycling centres due to safety concerns, this will continue to be monitored closely.
Work has been undertaken at all our main office buildings to clear the snow and make the pathways, roads and car parks safe for the arrival of staff in the morning. The amount of snow has presented quite a challenge, but work will continue first thing in the morning. Staff are being advised that all sites are fully functioning but to travel only if they feel it is safe to do so, or make alternative arrangements to work from home or one of our touchdown sites.
The main HCC website has been updated to update residents on the gritting that has taken place today and how that will continue, along with messages around school closures, libraries, HWRCs and public transport that may be affected. The updated text can be found here
HCC has been actively involved all day with the Command and Control of the multiagency response. Our Deputy Chief Fire Officer, as the duty Principal Officer for Fire and Rescue, called and chaired a meeting of the Local Resilience Forum, whilst a number of officers from across our services conducted our internal Incident Management Team business continuity meeting. Both these meeting groups will reconvene on Monday morning to review the situation and determine what further action may be required by the Council and its partners.
I will send a further update to you tomorrow after these meetings have taken place but in the meantime if you have any queries, I will arrange for them to be responded to.