Christmas, the snow and the cricket!

The Robertson’s spent some of Christmas day with family in Bamber Bridge (Preston) and a good time we had as I hope readers of this post did as well. This was in fact the first time I had left the Borough since the heavy snowfall seven days previously.

One thing I noticed was how much warmer it was just that short distance north of Sefton. We could see the temperature gauge rising as we drove there so checked it in detail on the way back. On leaving Bamber Bridge the temperature was Nil, on crossing back into Sefton the temperature was -7 and all in the space of around half an hour travelling. It was also clear that they had less snow than some parts of our Borough.

Like everyone else I am getting obsessed with the snow and ice but that’s because it has caused so much disruption to our lives. One thing I can say is that having had a discussion with the Council’s Chief Executive Sefton will be conducting a full review into how it responded to the unprecedented cold snap.

A thought this Boxing Day morning for organisations like the Salvation Army who do great work at this time of year looking after those who have nothing. I do not have a religion but I am immensely proud of the Salvation Army volunteers in the Borough.

And finally, what about the cricket down under! To wake this morning with such great news of our performance over night was warming indeed. Let’s hope they can keep it up and win the Test.

Last update on the weather situation before Christmas

I have cut and pasted the latest from Sefton Council below. May I wish everyone all the very best for Christmas. 

Here is the latest update on the severe weather situation in Sefton
going into the Christmas holiday period. This information is now
available on the Sefton Council website and the refuse and recycling
information has also been issued to the local media.

Council staff and gritting contractors will be working throughout the
Christmas period to respond to weather conditions and ensure roads are
treated. Gritting will continue to take place every night for as long as
road temperatures remain below zero.

Cleansing staff who are unable to undertake normal duties on working
days will be redeployed to clear ice in badly affected areas.

We will also continue to use mechanical diggers on routes where
gritting continues to have little, or no, effect due to the low
temperatures and the depth of compacted ice. There remains a risk
however that this could cause significant damage to the carriageway.

Refuse and recycling collections
All residents  are being asked to place their refuse and recycling out
as normal from Tuesday, December 28.

Pending the weather conditions, crews will endeavour to collect
wherever possible. If collections are missed, residents should leave
their recycling and refuse out and crews will aim to collect during the
rest of the week.The main issues relate to the safety of the public and
staff and the potential for wagons to cause damage in icy side roads.

If collections haven’t taken place by 4pm on December 31, then
residents should take their bins back in until the following week.
Residents are also being asked not to put household waste in their green
wheelie bins as these will not be emptied.

The Sefton Council website ( also includes advice from
United Utilities relating to frozen pipes and an update on library and
leisure centre opening times.

One Vision Properties – What’s in place to help their elderly residents?

Today I have been talking to elderly residents in the Rockfield, Dawson and Burgess Gardens area of Maghull about the difficulties they are facing with the snow, getting provisions and accessing their properties. Most of the residents here are tenants of One Vision Housing, many are far from steady on their feet and they rely on others to try to help them. As I type this note I am unsure what One Vision have put in place to assist in such circumstances but I am looking for answers.

-8 in Maghull this morning; things are not getting any better!

It feels very cold today indeed, -8 according to my car. Will this weather ever come to an end? I continue to put pressure on Council Officers to do all they can to address the state of Sefton’s roads. Some buses are now running, I saw a 311 myself and am told that the 236 has started up again. Many of our Arriva services come from depots in Southport and Skelmersdale, so our local bus expert Jim Sharpe tells me and conditions there are as bad or worse than here in the East Parishes part of Sefton.

Looking after the old and vulnerable

Earlier I asked the Council to provide a contact number to all councillors so that if we are informed of an elderly or vulnerable person whom neighbours are concerned about during this terrible weather the information can be got to the right people as soon as possible.

Anyone with such concerns please contact any Sefton Councillor and we will all do what we can.

And more on the snow……………

Sefton residents particularly those living in Maghull/Lydiate and Southport are suffering badly with the poor conditions. I have dealt with numerous e-mails and contacts about the conditions as have councillor colleagues who I have spoken with. The combination of one very heavy snow fall and Arctic temperatures ever since has brought some communities locally to their knees. There is no doubt that folks think the Council could and should do more and that message has been firmly left with senior managers who are planning things on a day by day basis.

Today the Council was hiring in diggers to try to get some major routes fully open. The problem is that the snow has been compacted into ice by vehicles and JCB type machinery is required to move it. Goodness knows what the condition of our roads will be like when this cold snap ends but a big bill to repair them is surely on the way.

I am informed that bin men (can I use such a phrase these days?) and street cleaners are being used to clear some areas but the problems are so widespread that their efforts will take time to be noticed. The days of the Council having an army of workers are long gone; they went in the 1980’s when much of the manual work within the Council went to contractors.

The Council  has enacted Emergency Planning processes as there seems no end to the problems caused by bad weather.