Work continues maintain highways and provide essential services

Work is continuing round the clock to keep Sunderland up and running on its highways and in essential care and support services for the vulnerable.

Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Harry Trueman, said: "These are exacting and trying conditions for everyone - whether they are at home or at work. The weather has affected everyone across the region and the country.

"Council staff, not just on highways, have been busy doing their upmost to keep the city running in very trying circumstances. The patience and understanding, and the kind words that many people are voicing is appreciated."

In adult social care, nearly 4,000 vulnerable people receive a care package whether they are older, have mental health issues, or have learning or physical disabilities.

Councillor Graeme Miller, Portfolio Holder for Health, Housing and Adult Services, said: "Nobody has been left without a service. We may have experienced some delays but not cancellations or failures to deliver care. Staff are working very hard and it is very much business as usual as we are keeping people safe."

Road surface temperatures have been dropping to minus six overnight as winter maintenance work continues.

Councillor Michael Mordey, Portfolio Holder for City Services, who oversees the city's highways network and refuse and recycling services, said: "In severe winter weather the council runs a 24 hour round-the clock operation to treat and keep the roads clear.

"We concentrate on the main routes, such as the A1231 and the A690, and where conditions allow we treat and plough off other secondary routes.

"With the snow and ice, and the strong winds, it's a challenge for all staff and a challenge to access bins. Bin collectors have joined the big snow clearance and with collections suspended for a second day (Thursday), please use your green domestic and blue recycling bins as best as possible.

"And thank you for your appreciation and understanding during these severe weather conditions.

"The latest forecasts are for it remaining cold and icy over the weekend. Please take care when out and about."

Front-line service update:
* Registration and Coroner Service providing a full service for registration of births, deaths and marriages;

* Bereavement Services operating as normal - 11 cremations and two interments were scheduled for Thursday 1 March;

* The majority of schools remain closed;

* The Homeless Service, Crisis Support and Telecare operating as normal. Please call 0191 520 5551 for support services;

* Business Improvement and Advice Services including Crisis support, Community Care Support and Welfare Reform Services are operational. Please call 0191 520 5551 for support services;

* The two pools and Exercise Studios at Sunderland Aquatic Centre remain closed until further notice;

* Highways treatments continuing;

* Southern Radial Route between Ocean Road and Salterfen Road is closed after six lighting columns collapsed overnight. Traffic is being diverted via Ryhope Road.



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