Doyle welcomes Government Task Force on Emergency Planning

Winter Ready Information Campaign Launches Today
Fine Gael TD for Wicklow/East Carlow Andrew Doyle has welcomed the Government’s advance planning and preparation as it launches the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning; Winter Ready Information Campaign.
“We have experienced two unprecedented winters in a row with exceptionally prolonged sub-zero temperatures with all of the associated challenges this brings as well as the longer term cost impact in terms of damage to roads; increased heating costs, loss to the Exchequer due to days lost at work etc.

“Towns and rural areas in Wicklow have been badly hit over the last number of years. Having a plan which identifies locations where grit is needed as well as having a list of people in a position to drop the grit is critical and requires co-ordination between local authority and the Wicklow Uplands Council and other representative bodies.
“Many people are understandably concerned about the possibility of another severe winter and the related implications. Over the last 2 years, we have learned that more can be done in advance by the relevant authorities to help people to know how to react in these extreme weather conditions and I welcome any initiative which aims to put necessary plans in place and to inform people of these plans.
“Other countries with different climates to ours have learned to adapt to severe winter conditions. As in most situations, preparation is key. This plan will provide a basic framework which will hopefully have a real impact on the ground if we do experience another similar winter to the last two. It should also give a certain peace of mind especially to people living in the more rural parts of the county.
“The Government Task Force is a co-ordinated effort between the Departments of Justice, Equality & Defence; Environment, Heritage & Local Government and Transport, Tourism & Sport. This is a welcome initiative from the National Emergency Co-Ordination Centre. The recent floods we experienced reminded us all of the need for a rapid response service and I will be working with the relevant bodies in Wicklow towards an effective winter ready plan.”