Tower Hamlets is prepared this winter


The council has 1,500 tonnes of grit ready for snowy conditions

With the met office warning of snowy and icy conditions, Mayor John Biggs this week took the opportunity to visit the council’s impressive ‘grit mountain’ and see first-hand the measures in place to deal with adverse weather.  

During the ‘beast from the east’ last year, the council spread roughly 350 tonnes of grit around the borough’s streets and kept all our roads open during the ice and snow. With 1,500 tonnes of grit currently held at its transport depot in Poplar, the council is determined to keep the borough moving whatever the weather

When frost settles, or when snow falls, key roads will be gritted making it as safe as possible to travel around the borough. Road sweepers will also salt footways, prioritising the following: 

  • hospital and health centre/ surgery entrance;
  • school entrances;
  • care homes and day centres for older people and/or disabled residents;
  • children's centres
  • pharmacies
  • busy public transport areas
  • Idea Stores; and
  • other areas of high footfall.

Mayor Biggs, said: “We are ready whatever the weather. It is so important that essential services continue, even during the most challenging weather conditions. It can be a difficult time for our vulnerable residents. On our website we provide advice on how to get help for rough sleepers and raise any concerns with the council on issues such as cold homes or loneliness. I would also encourage you to check in on any vulnerable neighbours you know. That hello could make a big difference.”

Councillor David Edgar, Cabinet Member for Environment said: “We are making every effort to keep the borough moving during winter. Following the weather warning our gritting crews will be out across the borough to make surfaces as safe as possible to travel on.”

The council is also reminding residents of a few things that could benefit their health and home as temperatures drop:

  • Set your heating: keep warm by setting your heating to the right temperature (18-21°C).
  • Take care of those close to you: look out for friends, relatives and neighbours who may be vulnerable to the cold.
  • Plan ahead: stay tuned to the weather forecast and keep supplies.
  • Use appliances wisely: ensure your heating and cooking appliances are checked regularly.
  • Eat well: regular hot meals and drinks helps keep your energy levels up. Try to make sure you continue eating five fruits and vegetables a day.
  • Stay active: exercise is always good for you and can help keep you warm. Even if you are indoors, moderate exercise can bring health benefits.
  • Layer up: wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer, and when you need to go outside wear shoes with slip resistant, good grip soles.
  • Insulate your hot water tank: this will only cost about £10 and you'll get your money back in under a year. Set the thermostat on the hot water tank to 60°C / 140°F
  • Radiator shelves and reflectors: putting radiator reflectors or kitchen foil behind the radiator can help heat reflect into a room rather than being lost to the wall or the ceiling.
  • Room heaters: if you need an individual room heater for additional heat, or if you do not have central heating, the most efficient type is a thermostatically controlled convector heater with timer.

Residents can access information and guidance on being prepared for winter at During any severe winter weather the council provides regular updates about the status of its services on Twitter

Tower Hamlets Council featured on ITV London news on 29 January 2019, highlighting how prepared we are for winter

Posted on Thursday 31st January 2019