A wide-ranging look at the way the public and voluntary services in West Sussex coped with the severe winter weather conditions has been called by the County Council.
The ‘snow summit’ will take place at County Hall on Thursday March 11, and representatives from a wide variety of organisations are being invited to send representatives.
There will be an opportunity for residents to submit questions in advance via a special email address - firstname.lastname@example.org - and the event will be webcast so that people can see and hear the discussion either live or at a time convenient to them because it will be available on our website for several months.
As well as senior representatives from County Council services such as highways, schools and Fire and Rescue, the invitation list includes –
The NHS, Highways Agency, ambulance service, rail and bus companies, Gatwick Airport, Sussex Police, District, Borough, Town and Parish Councils, Further Education colleges, EDF, water companies, the Environment Agency, National Farmers’ Union, voluntary organisations such as the Red Cross, and WRVS, and many business organisations such as Sussex Enterprise.
The Met Office and the Government Office for the South East are also being invited.
Henry Smith, Leader of West Sussex County Council, who will open the event, said: “It is natural that gritting, the Government’s salt cell restrictions on local authorities, and arrangements for clearing snow and ice will feature heavily on the agenda.
“However, the weather also created many other problems and issues – hence the very wide ranging list of organisations being invited to take part.
“This will be an opportunity to look at what worked well and where there is scope for improvement in the future.”
The event will start with a scene setting ‘who does what’ session. This will be followed by a wide ranging review designed to lead to recommendations to improve the bad weather response in future through better joint working.
The event will take up the whole of the main Council chamber and an adjoining committee room where there will be display boards allowing representatives to ‘post’ additional comments.
Henry said: “I am glad that the event will be webcast and there will also be the chance for people to submit questions.
“I am sure that this high level event will be invaluable, and lead to a much more joined up response the next time we get severe weather.
“A detailed report will be compiled after the summit, and this will be published as soon as practicable.”