Avoid a bitter blow this winter

A City of Sunderland Council snow plough on Durham Road last winter.
A City of Sunderland Council snow plough on Durham Road last winter.
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WARM words of wisdom are being offered to help people say safe and well this winter.

A host of tips has been drawn up by Durham County Council as it prepares for the colder weather.

People are being urged to keep warm and put their home’s heating on low during the day to maintain a constant temperature. They should find out if the household is entitled to a grant to insulate the property and check with their energy supplier to confirm they are still on the correct tariff.

Other tips include getting the flu jab, to eat well with hot meals and drinks during the day, keep active and stock up on essential items in case leaving the house becomes a problem.

The council is also urging people to ask for help from a friend, family member or neighbour.

The authority has issued the advice after the last two winters saw the county hit by blizzards and freezing temperatures.

It has 46,000 tonnes of salt – 6,000 more than last year – stockpiled and 200 extra salt bins to install in communities.

The volunteer scheme run by the East Durham Trust last winter to clear paths to help vulnerable people get out and about is to be repeated and extended.

The council has said in poor weather people should only go out if necessary and if a journey outside is essential, wear several layers of loose-fitting clothes and items fitted at the wrists.

Coun Lucy Hovvels, the council’s cabinet member for safer and healthier communities, said: “We’re encouraging people to make some simple preparations that will make life a lot easier if the weather gets bad but, in some cases, could prove vital.”

The council has drawn up a list of useful numbers.

The Highways Action Line (HAL) can handle inquiries about salting of roads and footpaths. Ring on 370 6000 or emailed via HAL@durham.gov.uk.

Social Care Direct, for concerns about someone’s care, can be contacted on 0845 850 5010. The council’s switchboard for other issues is 0300 123 7070, with information also available via www.durham.gov.uk/warmandwell and its home page.

The NHS 111 service can be called if someone needs medical help but it is not an emergency.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham