» Monday, January 11, 2010


The Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) started by saying that Central Government, key agencies and staff across the transport industries were closely co-ordinating and providing a comprehensive response to minimise the disruption caused and the Prime Minister chaired a meeting of Ministers last Friday to oversee and ensure co-ordination. The Highways Agency continued to have its fleet of five hundred salt spreaders and snow ploughs out in force and had been successful in keeping the vast majority of the major road network running.

The Civil Contingencies Committee would meet this morning – this was not a Ministerial meeting but a senior officials meeting.

Asked if the Prime Minister was aware of how much salt we had in our reserves, the PMS said that they weren’t government reserves; the Highways Agency went into the winter with thirteen days worth of supplies, which shows there had been adequate planning. This situation was being looked at day by day and we were looking closely at ways in which we could both increase the indigenous salt mining capability and secure salt from other markets.

Asked if the Prime Minister thought that people should clear snow outside their own houses/businesses, the PMS said that the Prime Minister thought that people should do whatever they could to help in their local community – it was important to use common sense.

Asked what would happen if salt ran out and if there was an alternative plan, the PMS said that salt was the most appropriate material to use and we preferred to use that rather than anything else.

Asked if the Government had spoken to anybody at the Met Office about their long-term forecasts and why they seemed to be getting them so wrong, the PMS said that questions about the Met Office’s forecasts were for the Met Office to answer. The Government and all appropriate authorities were taking all the necessary action possible to try and help the country through this particularly cold period.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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