» Thursday, January 14, 2010


The PMS started by announcing COBRA had met that afternoon to discuss the weather situation and salt supplies across the UK with Lord Adonis chairing the meeting with other Ministers in attendance including: Tessa Jowell, Hillary Benn, Andy Burnham, Rosie Winterton and Ian Wright. The PMS said that although some parts of the UK were still experiencing severe weather conditions, the UK was now entering into a slow and steady thaw that can bring new challenges such as hazardous ice.

The PMS announced that Cobra received a report on the efforts to maximise salt production and that imports of salt would arrive in the next few days and been given an update on the energy situation which remains good. The PMS noted that the meeting had recognised the terrific spirit that has been represented by the community engagement of people up and down the country with many examples of volunteering to help neighbours and local community.

The PMS said that there had been 10 million cold weather payments to 4.2 million people representing 262million and that food supplies across the UK were fine and that 1000-1500 schools remained closed much less than the previous week and that this had been due to severe weather persisting in some parts of the country.

Asked if there was alarm at the COBRA meeting that even with the snow thawing over a thousand schools still remained closed and did the Government think it should tell head teachers to open their schools the PMS said that firstly the decision to keep a school open or closed is a decision to be taken at a local level and that was entirely right for head teachers and senior staff to make that decision. PMS added that the number of closed schools had fallen from 10,000 the week before to 1000-1500 and that some parts of the UK were not clear of snow and still faced difficulties.

Asked when the first shipment of salt imports would arrive in the UK, the PMS said the first shipment was expected to arrive around the 18th January.

original source.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news

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