Council works to maintain essential services during Arctic weather

DERBYSHIRE County Council is striving to maintain essential frontline services following heavy snowfall throughout the area over the last few days.

Officers based at County Hall in Matlock are working with Derbyshire police, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, East Midlands Ambulance Service, other local councils, voluntary groups and health services to co-ordinate efforts and prioritise where help is needed most.

General calls for help from the public include helping residents get to emergency medical and hospital appointments and carrying out extra gritting on roads to allow funerals to go ahead.

Social care staff, including home helps and those working in residential homes, are walking long distances to get to work or getting lifts with county council countryside rangers who are helping to get them out to residents most in need. This service has also been supported by volunteers from Peak 4x4.

Councillor Carol Hart, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for Public Health, said: “We’re aiming to maintain essential frontline services by co-ordinating efforts between all the partner organisations to prioritise help where it’s needed most.

“This is prioritised in terms of medical emergencies and immediate risk to people’s health and welfare. To do this we need to make sure our resources and staff are used most efficiently and effectively.”

Meanwhile, residents are being reminded to follow advice to keep themselves, neighbours and vulnerable people safe and warm during the bad weather:

• Eat well. Food is a vital source of energy, which helps to keep your body warm. Try to make sure you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day and keep active at home if you can.

• Keep your home warm. Your main living room should be between around 18-21C (65-70F) and the rest of the house at a minimum of 16C (61F).

• Wrap up warm, inside and out. Layer your clothing to stay warm and wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside. If possible, stay inside during a cold period if you have heart or respiratory problems.

• Be a ‘snow buddy’. Check on older neighbours and relatives to make sure they’re warm enough, especially at night, with plenty of food and medicines so they don’t need to go out.

• Keep an eye out for bogus officials who may call door-to-door without an appointment claiming to be from heating supply or other companies checking for problems caused by the cold weather. Always check the identity of callers to your home and if in doubt call the police.

For the latest information about county council services which have been disrupted, gritting information and the latest situation on the roads visit