» Thursday, January 7, 2010


The Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) began by giving an update on the severe weather across the UK by saying it had been the worst weather conditions in thirty years and that the Prime Minister had been updated constantly on the situation and made a number of calls on the issue throughout the day including Lord Adonis, Sadiq Khan, the director of the Highways agency, the chair of the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Chief Executive of the NHS he thanked them for their work and again made it clear that the Government would do everything it could to help.

The PMS said that the Salt Cell, the body that advised salt suppliers on priorities for delivery across the UK during freezing conditions, had met on Wednesday 6th January 2010 and brought together various organisations including central government, the LGA, the Highways Agency, devolved administrations and the Scottish Trunk Road Agency.

The PMS added that in Tooting offenders had been clearing and gritting areas outside of St George’s hospital to allow easier access for patients and visitors as part of the Community Payback scheme.

Asked if there was alarm that supplies of salt were running out and was that why the Prime Minister had been making calls, the PMS said there was no alarm and referred to Lord Adonis’s words that it was vital salt got to the places that needed it most and that the Government was taking the lead in coordinating salt supplies to ensure the system operated in the most effective and joined up way.

Asked about a report that the Government had been handed recommendations in 2009 on how to deal with severe weather conditions and that the Government had not acted, the PMS referred to the statement made by Sadiq Khan in the House of Commons where he we based recommendations on expert advice and it was open to councils to follow them without any response from Government. Sadiq Khan also expressed surprise at the suggestion that central Government should prescribe and tell local governments what to do.

original source.

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