Some of the tabloid newspapers have unearthed their annual headlines and articles about storms and cold winters. Well, the Parish Council is not in the weather forecasting business but Mike Balmforth, Vice-Chairman, is responsible for producing our winter plan to prepare for bad weather. Mike has done a lot of work behind the scenes. Here is an article by him about our plans.
Bepton Parish Council Winter Plans
1. In the event of severe cold weather or storms, we have prepared information about the roads and the supply of electrical power in the Bepton area.
Road-gritting plan and clearance
2. Bepton has been designated as a gritting route by West Sussex Highways Dept. It covers the main roads in the parish: Bepton Road from the parish boundary at the North, just before Frogmore, to the T-Junction at the South; Bugshill Lane to past Linch Farm; Bell Lane to past Bepton Lodge; and Severals Road past the houses to the parish boundary. The route is marked in red on the Bepton Gritting Routes map.
3. An Easebourne based contractor – ACS – will provide the gritting service in the event of snow and ice affecting the roads. This will be carried out by Tristan Parks using a tractor towing a spreader. If snow has reached depths of several inches before gritting, then he will use a snowplough first to clear and then to grit. Mike Balmforth, will liaise with ACS in the event of a medium to heavy snowfall.
4. In addition, sometimes severe conditions such as compacted snow on uphill gradients require further treatment. Similarly as we saw two years ago the houses in Severals Road experienced treacherous ice on the road. Accordingly there will be a reserve store of grit held in Hippo Bags, and they will be delivered by ACS to those places which are in most need – for spreading by hand shovel.
5. If trees should fall across the road, then the Highways Agency and, where appropriate, Cowdray will be informed and arrangements be made to clear obstructions.
6. Winter storms can damage overhead power cables and cause power cuts/outages. If this happens, call the emergency service for power distribution in Bepton (SSE – it doesn’t matter who supplies your electricity) on the following number:
08000 72 72 82
7. They are usually already aware of outages and can inform you of the action being taken to restore the power. It helps to first see if your neighbours are affected, and to check that it’s not simply a fuse that has ‘blown’ in your house –are all the trip switches on your fuse box ON ?
8. Keep the emergency number handy. Call your neighbours or other contacts in the village to determine if the outage is widespread or localised. SSE also suggest a supply of torches be kept in a safe place. They have an app for smartphones called Powertrack which will tell you of faults in their areas. However, if you have a power cut you’ll need a 3G signal to access it. They also have a mobile emergency number 0345 0721905 if you are lucky enough to have a signal. Here is a link to their website
9. There are several sources of advice for extreme weather conditions, but the most informative we have discovered is that in the latest issue of the Vantage Point magazine November issue. The article entitled ‘Prepare yourself this winter’ can be found on pages 20-21. Their website is http://www.vantagepointmag.co.uk/
10. If you have any specific questions about the information in this post, please call Mike Balmforth on 01730 814224 or contact him via email at Balmforths@yahoo.com .