Tower Hamlets takes action to beat the Beast from the East


As snow continues to fall across London today - Tower Hamlets council has put its full resources behind helping residents travel across the borough and stay safe and supported.

 Road gritting

Over the last 36 hours 110 hardworking staff from our gritting team including beat sweepers, staff in cage vehicles and the council’s two gritters, have been gritting 133 streets and 73km of roads using our store of 2,000 tonnes of rock salt.

The council is responsible for most roads, except major routes such as the A13 and A12, which are the responsibility of Transport for London.

To find out more about our activities to keep our streets and pavements safe and passable read more here

Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said: “Our hard working staff are  working flat out to help the people of the borough travel, be safe and stay warm. We’re working with partners across the borough to do our best to make the snowy weather as bearable as possible.”

Safety on estates - Estate roads and pavements

Tower Hamlets Homes who run the council’s housing stock has been busy gritting the Estates’ roads and pavements. Residents should take any queries about gritting of roads or pavements in these areas to their landlord.  For THH enquiries call 020 7364 5015. 

The team work overnight unless the weather is particularly cold like today, when they work during the day and extra cage vehicles are used with grit on board to cover more pavements and walkways.

 Supporting vulnerable residents: Day Centres & Schools

 The council’s Meals on Wheels services has continued to run, supplying 190 hot meals to housebound elderly residents and disabled adults.

We offer outreach services to support our elderly residents. Toynbee Hall is our lead provider for fuel poverty advice and benefits maximisation services. Today Toynbee Hall was serving hot soup to elderly people.

We support our schools to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their carbon emissions which also reduce the schools energy costs. For example, by replacing their boilers.

We’ve just launched a service offering free boilers to residents in receipt of benefits who own their own home. You can read about it here.

LinkAge Plus Neighbours in Poplar hub (one of five council funded centres for older people age 50 and over) will be closing Thursday and Friday. 

All the rest of the hubs will be open. 

All hubs are contacting their members by telephone to ensure their wellbeing. 

Homeless People

The severe weather emergency protocol (SWEP) was activated last Friday.

All emergency bedspaces are available to any Rough Sleeper regardless of connection by the borough.

Our Housing Options service working with other homeless agencies groups locally that has now drafted and activated a daytime SWEP protocol:

Day centres are now open weekends and bedspaces available during the day. Additional outreach shifts have been organised and those on the known list of Rough Sleepers are receiving  multiple visits

There will be a mental health nurse who can act  mental capacity act  joining outreach teams tonight  who can take action to support rough sleepers.

To report a homeless person in trouble log in and tell Street link which connects rough sleepers to local services


 Only 2 schools had partial closures on Wednesday . Residents should call schools directly to find out if they are open on the day.

Today the following schools were closed

  • The Cherry Tree
  • Blue Gate Fields (infant and junior)
  • Shapla
  • St. Matthias
  • Cubitt Town Nursery
  • Stephen Hawking
  • Beatrice Tate
  • Old Church


All remaining schools will assess the situation tomorrow morning as to whether they will need to close.

Leisure facilities

Most of the Boroughs leisure centres and parks are operational, with a few exceptions:

We are closing Stepney Green Astroturf until Friday.

We are closing Whitehorse Adventure Playground today and tomorrow.

Travel information

Londoners can check before they travel during any severe cold weather period, and to allow extra journey time where necessary.

Passengers can check before travelling by visiting or following @TfLTravelAlerts, @TfLTrafficNews and @TfLBusAlerts on Twitter.




Posted on Thursday 1st March 2018