Council staff thanked for efforts to keep Sunderland moving

Council staff working around the clock to keep Sunderland up and running during the severe weather have been thanked by the public.

Thursday, 1st March 2018, 5:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st March 2018, 5:05 pm
Sunderland City Council staff have been working around the clock to keep Sunderland up and running.

Sunderland City Council staff have been receiving thank you messages from the public, both in person and on social media, for their efforts to keep the city's highways running and for providing essential services for the vulnerable.

Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Harry Trueman, said: "These are exacting and trying conditions for everyone - whether they are at home or at work.

"The weather has affected everyone across the region and the country.

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"Council staff, not just on highways, have been busy doing their upmost to keep the city running in very trying circumstances.

"The patience and understanding, and the kind words that many people are voicing is appreciated."

In adult social care, nearly 4,000 vulnerable people receive a care package whether they are older, have mental health issues, or have learning or physical disabilities.

Coun Graeme Miller, Portfolio Holder for Health, Housing and Adult Services, said: "Nobody has been left without a service.

"We may have experienced some delays but not cancellations or failures to deliver care.

"Staff are working very hard and it is very much business as usual as we are keeping people safe."

Road surface temperatures have been dropping to minus six overnight as winter maintenance work continues.

Counr Michael Mordey, Portfolio Holder for City Services, who oversees the city's highways network and refuse and recycling services, said: "In severe winter weather the council runs a 24 hour round-the clock operation to treat and keep the roads clear.

"We concentrate on the main routes, such as the A1231 and the A690, and where conditions allow we treat and plough off other secondary routes.

"With the snow and ice, and the strong winds, it's a challenge for all staff and a challenge to access bins.

"Bin collectors have joined the big snow clearance and with collections suspended for a second day (Thursday), please use your green domestic and blue recycling bins as best as possible.

"And thank you for your appreciation and understanding during these severe weather conditions.

"The latest forecasts are for it remaining cold and icy over the weekend. Please take care when out and about."

Andy Gamblin, from Go North East's service delivery centre, said they have worked closely with the City Council gritting teams throughout the bad weather to keep the city moving.

He said: "We have managed to maintain the majority of our bus services, on main roads at least, throughout the city which has helped keep the city moving through some abnormal weather conditions."

Front-line service update:

* Registration and Coroner Service is providing a full service for registration of births, deaths and marriages.

* Bereavement Services operating as normal.

* The majority of schools remain closed.

* The Homeless Service, Crisis Support and Telecare operating as normal. Please call: 0191 520 5551.

* Business Improvement and Advice Services including Crisis support, Community Care Support and Welfare Reform Services are operational. Please call: 0191 520 5551.

* The two pools and Exercise Studios at Sunderland Aquatic Centre remain closed until further notice.

* Highways treatments continuing.

* Southern Relief Route between Ocean Road and Salterfen Road is closed after six lighting columns collapsed overnight. Traffic is being diverted via Ryhope Road.