09 February 2009>
Caerphilly county borough council's stock of salt for gritting the 281 miles of roads is at an all-time low. Therefore it has been decided that the only roads to be gritted will be 'A' Roads and other key strategic routes. No other roads will be gritted and the council will not be filling local grit bins. We will maintain key areas such as cemeteries (when burials are necessary), the kitchens providing food for Meals on Wheels services and bus stations in Caerphilly and Blackwood. The stocks of salt are not likely to reach a satisfactory minimum level for the foreseeable future and therefore this programme will remain unchanged until further notice. It has been a difficult decision and the gravity of the situation cannot be underestimated and the picture is similar across the whole of the UK.
There has obviously been disruption to refuse collection services caused by a combination of adverse weather conditions and the temporary closure of disposal sites, which are outside the council's control. The crews have been undertaking collections where possible and have collected over the weekend, but unfortunately many areas are still inaccessible due to snow and ice. Weather permitting, we are aiming to catch up during the week and clear the backlog of material. However, should the inclement weather prevail we will review the situation and provide further information later this week.
All schools have been advised of the forecast and have been asked to make decisions as early as possible regarding the school being open in order that teachers, parents, school transport providers and school kitchen staff can make their arrangements accordingly. Head teachers are asked to consult with the Chair of Governors on their decision. This early notification of closures will assist forward planning for support services. The school closure list for CCBC schools will be listed on the council's website and we will be advising the media in order that they too can carry the information.
All effort will be made to provide services as normal but the decision to open day centres will be taken early tomorrow again for further information please refer to the website.
Due to the lack of salt, council car parks will not be gritted. The three main locations at Penallta House, Pontllanfraith House and Hawtin Park will all have their slope entrances to the car parks gritted and we will clear pedestrian entrances for the public to be able to access the buildings.
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