FIFE COUNCIL - DOC 2

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					                                                                          Update No. 3
                                                                      2 December 2010

FIFE COUNCIL

SEVERE WEATHER UPDATE FOR ELECTED MEMBERS


Weather and summary forecast

   Today - 2 December - further snow showers have continued overnight and
    more fresh snow has accumulated. Snow showers will continue today but
    become lighter and less frequent into the evening. There has been a
    widespread frost, severe in places, and this is expected to continue, with
    lower temperatures, overnight. Risks of ice on the roads. The public have
    been advised to take extra care and refer to “Traffic Scotland” for further
    advice on road conditions.

   Tomorrow - 3 December - a cold and frosty start but a band of rain sleet and
    snow will move into western areas during the morning. This band of generally
    light snow will then move eastwards over Scotland giving further
    accumulations of 2 to 5cm of snow in places. Following on behind will be
    clear spells and scattered snow showers these mainly in the west. Again
    there will be a widespread frost, severe in many places.

   Outlook over the weekend - remaining cold with northerly winds bringing
    further snow showers to the Northern Isles and Northern Scotland otherwise
    dry and bright with sunny spells. Staying very cold and frosty.

   The latest warnings can be viewed on the Met Office website at
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/uk_forecast_warnings.html


Roads, gritting, pavements and salt

   All primary routes across Fife are in reasonable condition due to a respite in
    weather conditions, however extra care should still be taken when out on the
    roads.

   The forecast for this evening is for even colder temperatures overnight and
    ice will be a risk on wet roads.

   Gritters and other ploughing vehicles are being deployed on secondary routes
    where possible. Reasonable progress is being made. We will continue this as
    long as possible depending on the weather and the need to focus on
    prioritised routes.

   Specific focus will also now be given to ensuring roads and footpaths in the
    vicinity of schools are attended to in the knowledge that schools will be
    opening again very soon.

   Mounds of snow at the edges of roads and parked cars are hampering the
    clearance operation. Excavators are removing the snow from carriageways
    where possible and we are using a fleet of lorries to pick up and dispose of
    snow to other suitable areas.
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   Hand crews have stepped in to help clear accumulated snow on footpaths.
    The depth of snow is causing problems for the mini-tractors. Staff are
    breaking up the snow manually in some areas.

   954 tonnes of salt has been used over the last 24hours and our total salt
    stock remaining is 13,172 tonnes.

   Our salt useage is currently between 700-1,000 tonnes a day due to the extra
    resources we've deployed to keep as many roads clear as possible.

   An order has been placed this week for a further 10,000 tonnes of salt, which
    we have asked to be delivered within a fortnight. Obviously due to the
    exceptional weather conditions UK-wide the Scottish Government may also
    trigger The Scottish Salt Group (Scottish version of Salt Cell) which would
    manage the distribution of salt across the country.

   Dial-a-Ride and Ring & Ride services remain suspended due to the severe
    weather but it is hoped that the service will continue tomorrow to enable
    people to make essential travel (i.e. food shopping and hospital/GP
    appointments.

   Residential areas being treated today are :

    Mid:
    Glenrothes (various areas inc. all high areas)
    Leslie
    Kinglassie
    Cardenden
    Kennoway
    Levenmouth (Broom Estate)
    Markinch
    Kirkcaldy (High areas)
    Kinghorn
    Auchtertool
    Milton / Coaltown
    Windygates

    North:
    Cupar
    St Andrews
    Kingsbarns
    Peat Inn
    Lathones
    Lundin Links
    Auchtermuchty
    Collessie
    Ceres
    Freuchie
    Ladybank
    Falkland
    Balmullo
    Strathmiglo
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    South:
    Dunfermline
    Cowdenbeath
    Kelty
    Kincardine
    Oakley
    Inverkeithing
    Valleyfield areas
    Saline
    Lochgelly
    Ballingry
    Lochore
    Limekilns

   Over and above the 500+ Fife Council employees dedicated to winter
    maintenance we are still working with existing contractors to try to keep as
    many of Fife‟s roads open as we can in these adverse conditions. These
    extra resources have increased since yesterday to:

    North Area
    1x tractor with spreader
    5x 360-degree excavators
    7x JCBs

    Mid Area
    15x JCBs/ other excavators
    9x Lorries (41 operatives)
    1x Loading shovel

    South Area
    12x JCBs
    9x Loading shovels
    8x Lorries
    2x tractors

    Grit Bins
    10 teams (20 men)


School Closures

   All schools were closed today.

   Head Teachers have been advised to follow the same procedure tomorrow.
    They will consider if their school can open. If so they will use the automated
    telephone system to „open‟ the school and inform the Education Directorate of
    their decision.

   Logging this through the automated system will update FifeDirect and trigger
    a range of updates to go out across the communications channels. See the
    section at the end of this brief for further information.
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   Education management, headteachers, the janitorial service and
    transportation are coordinating a range of activities to help schools re-open as
    soon as possible.


Social Work Services

   Travelling for staff has continued to be challenging.

   RAYNET Fife, a voluntary emergency response organisation, and Fife
    Countryside Trust have been providing vital 4X4 transport for carers to ensure
    support is provided to vulnerable service users; particularly in remote outlying
    communities and areas that have been difficult to access. Teams have been
    operating from around 08:00 until 23:00; some almost continuously during
    that time. RAYNET had 5 Teams using 2 vehicles out concurrently
    transporting carers for the provision of evening meals during the late
    afternoon and then tuck-in services well into the evening.

   Home carers are continuing to walk long distances in severe conditions to
    ensure that vital care and support services are delivered.

   Some residential care staff are still having to sleep over in the unit to ensure
    their availability the next day, or stay on after the completion of their shifts, to
    ensure adequate cover.

   Managers continue to coordinate available staffing resources to ensure they
    are deployed where they are most needed and staff are being as flexible as
    possible to facilitate this. This has included some staff being deployed to
    support the home care teams in some areas.

   All main social work offices are open to the public and duty systems are in
    place to receive referrals. Operational teams continue to prioritise visits to
    those identified as most in need and/ or at risk.


Bins, recycling, street cleaning and other environmental services

   The situation remains that there is severe disruption to refuse collection
    across Fife. Where householders have not had their bins serviced on the
    routine day, it should be removed and re-presented on the next scheduled
    day for that bin.

   Where members of the public have problems with storage of their waste, they
    should use the brown bin to store the overflow from any other bin. This
    should be presented on the next regular brown bin collection day.

   We have taken the opportunity of bringing forward the servicing of refuse
    collection vehicles that are currently not working at present, so that we will
    have full operational readiness as the thaw progresses.


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   It should be noted that special collections have been suspended in the
    meantime.

    East Area
    12 refuse collection vehicles are operational. Areas being serviced include
    East Neuk, St Andrews, Tay Bridgehead community points and Ladybank.

    Central Area
    There is no household refuse collection in Central Fife.

    West Area
    Very limited refuse collection in West Fife. 2 refuse collection vehicles
    operating in the centre of Dunfermline. Some refuse collection staff are
    taking the opportunity to deliver bio bags in the trial area.

   Street sweeping remains suspended and all resources are deployed on
    weather related issues.

    East Area
    Street cleaning crews in the East area are servicing areas allocated to us by
    Transportation Service. This includes servicing grit bins and clearance of
    pavements and other footways.
    These staff are also deployed on keeping recycling centres and depot
    facilities free of snow and operational.

    Central Area
    All street sweeping teams are working to clear doctor surgeries, health
    centres, shopping areas, bus stations and recycling centres.

    West Area
    All street sweeping teams are working to clear doctor surgeries, health
    centres, shopping areas, bus stations and recycling centres.

   Refuse collection staff who are unable to collect waste are also engaged on
    snow clearance work.


Recycling Centres

   It should be noted that recycling centres have been subject to closure and
    reopening during the day, however, the current position is -

    Open
    St Andrews
    Pittenweem
    Glenrothes
    Kirkcaldy
    Lochgelly
    Dunfermline
    Ladybank


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    Due to be opened p.m.
    Cupar
    Methil

    Not open today
    Cowdenbeath
    Dalgety Bay


Housing and Communities

   The following Local Service Centres are open/closed:

    Glenrothes Area
    Glenrothes West (Roxburgh Road) closed
    Albany House open

    Kirkcaldy Area
    All offices open (Townhouse, Templehall, Park Road, Burntisland)

    Dunfermline Area
    All offices open (Walmer Drive (closed 12.30 to 1330), City Chambers,
    Abbeyview (closed 1pm to 2pm)

    South West Area
    Inverkeithing open
    Oakley closed

    Cowdenbeath Area
    Cowdenbeath, Kelty and Lochgelly are all open - however no 'registration'
    service available at Cow. Benarty are closed but this is scheduled.

    Levenmouth Area
    Leven open
    Buckhaven open

    North East Fife
    Cupar, Anstruther and St Andrews all open

   The Contact Centre is operational and still managing calls by using
    'emergencies only' phone message on main line. A decision was taken at
    11am today to return to 'normal service' but will still be prioritising calls as per
    service's instructions

   All sheltered housing complexes are covered and operational. Staffing levels
    are improved today compared to yesterday

   All Home 4 Good centres are open. Most homeless applications are being
    done over the phone but also face to face where possible.

   Where it is proving difficult to visit customers in dispersed temporary
    accommodation, staff are making telephone contact wherever possible.
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   Daily staff presence in all hostels has been maintained.

   Most Community Centres are closed to the public as groups have cancelled
    their lets. Small centres are closed as staff have been unable to get there eg
    Saline, Hill of Beath, Touch.

   Some of the larger Community Leisure Centres are acting as a hub point for
    staff out clearing the streets of snow.

   Most libraries are still open although many are closing at 5pm. Those closed
    are in small villages or the rural areas. St Andrews Library closed due to a
    heating problem.

   As of today the following leisure centres were open/closed:

    Open
    Levenmouth Swimming Pool
    Fife Institute - Dryside 8.00 am - 5.00 pm Swimming Pool 8.00 am -4.00 pm
    Pitreavie Athletics Centre open until 3.00 pm
    Duloch Leisure Centre open until 7.00 pm - no fitness classes
    Cupar Sports Centre
    Bowhill Swimming Pool 10.00 am - 5.00 pm

    Dryside only in operation
    Kirkcaldy Swimming Pool (Swimming Pool closed for maintenance) open until
    4.00 pm
    Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre open until 3.30 pm
    East Sands Leisure Centre (Swimming Pool closed for maintenance)

    Closed
    Dalgety Bay Sports Centre
    The Beacon Leisure Centre
    Waterstone Crook Sports Centre


Communications

   New work has been completed to improve the performance of FifeDirect
    during periods of peak demand. This included the further restructuring of
    information and the development of a lighter front-end. The site had no
    disruption this morning.

   We have also improved the promotion of the routes through which people can
    get information, and added to our social media channels. All this work
    reduces, but does not completely remove, the risk of down-time or faults
    occurring in the future. Performance is being carefully monitored.

   We are now distributing information throughout the day across 12 different
    channels:


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    1.    Text messages on closures direct to registered mobiles
    2.    E-mail alerts on closures to your personal account
    3.    Radio bulletins - we contact Kingdom, Tay and Forth FM every time there
          is a change in service
    4.    Television bulletins - STV and BBC
    5.    Online news sites - especially the BBC
    6.    Daily press including the Courier
    7.    Automated telephone closure line - 08451 55 11 99
    8.    Mobile phone service - http://lookinglocal.gov.uk/LookingLocal/
    9.    FifeDirect online website
    10.   DigiTV (Red Button On Sky and Virgin Media under Interactive Services,
          Local Services)
    11.   Twitter account - Go to www.twitter.com/fifecouncil
    12.   Facebook account - Go to www.facebook.com/fifecouncil

   Fife Council joined Facebook yesterday and within 24 hours had over 3000
    followers. Over 1900 people are now also following Fife Council on Twitter. A
    system has been set up to ensure we respond to issues raised as quickly as
    possible from 6am until 9pm at night. News and general information is used to
    inform users of this service and stimulate comments as appropriate.

   Work is now also underway to extend the automated system that pushes
    news and updates straight from the telephone closure system and FifeDirect
    to Digital TV and the media to include Facebook and Twitter.

   Frequently Asked Questions were created and added to the website to
    answer queries and build understanding about the scale and complexity of
    the Council‟s response to this situation.

   15 press releases have been issued to date. A further three are planned for
    today. Discussions are ongoing with the broadcast media including the BBC
    and STV to help ensure Fife‟s news is covered. Major releases associated
    with the severe weather response are being sent routinely to all elected
    members.


Staff across the Council are continuing to make extraordinary efforts to attend
work, keep services running and ensure contact is made with the most
vulnerable. Managers will continue to assess the weather conditions and ensure
appropriate responses to this, and also plan ahead for the coming days.



The next update will be sent tomorrow afternoon, Friday 3rd December
2010.




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