‘Minister must ensure agencies are prepared for extreme cold weather’ – Clark

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
South Down Alliance spokesperson Patrick Clarke has said that the Regional Development Minister must have a plan in place to ensure that the relevant agencies are well prepared to deal with any extreme cold weather this winter. The Newcastle Councillor said the Minister must communicate with the public to show that these agencies are adequately prepared. Speaking to Newry Times, Clarke said: “I think everybody would clearly agree that two years ago our agencies were very poorly prepared to deal with the extreme cold weather that affected my constituency of South Down and nearly all of Northern Ireland.” “The extreme cold weather badly affected so many people that we cannot allow it to be repeated. There was a lot of confusion over who was responsible for gritting roads and footpaths or over liability for the public who clear the footpaths outside their homes.” Clarke continued, “The Regional Development Minister must provide clear and concise information to the public to reassure them that all the agencies and organisations are fully prepared for any possible extreme weather this winter.” “Very little has been said by the Minister about any plans or preparations to deal with any potential extreme cold weather, so I hope that it is the case that work is going on behind the scenes and that it just has not been communicated to the public yet.” He added, “We must ensure that the chaos that we witnessed two years ago is not seen this winter.”
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