19 February 2009
Dedicated employees at Caerphilly county borough council have been praised for their actions during the recent periods of heavy snowfall.
It has emerged that staff, particularly the gritting teams, played a crucial role in helping elderly and vulnerable residents access vital services when many parts of the country were grinding to a halt.
A resident living in Pontlottyn feared she would not make it to the hospital to undergo a vital heart operation until workmen cleared the roads leading from her property. Another Pontlottyn resident was extremely grateful after workmen cleared the road and even helped dig his car out of the snow so that he could collect his disabled son.
At one point the police were called to escort a gritting vehicle as it tried to clear the road of snow for a dialysis patient. Youths were throwing snowballs with bricks and even jumping onto the truck, despite the danger posed by the machinery used to spread the grit.
Social services teams also worked tirelessly to keep services open for the most vulnerable people in our communities. Social services' transport department worked late into the night and early mornings to provide transport for staff who were snowed in at home. Drivers took staff to and from their place of work to make sure service users and their families were not affected.
Staff also braved the snow to keep the home assistance and reablement service running. Home carers, worked extra hours, came in on their day's off and walked long distances – up to seven miles in some cases to provide a service to vulnerable people in freezing conditions to make sure they received the care they needed.
Leader of council, Cllr Lindsay Whittle, praised the actions of all the staff who went that extra mile, "The severe weather conditions created many problems for the authority, but we continued to deliver key services to the community thanks to the dedication of council workers. It is during these difficult times that we can really appreciate the quality of the services provided by staff and I'm sure local residents share my gratitude."
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