Action plans should put a stop to chaos seen in past

Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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It’s no good being well-prepared after the event. The real trick is to try to pre-empt what might be heading your way.

Of course, that’s never an easy thing to do – especially when you are talking about our very unpredictable weather.

But snow and ice have caused chaos across our area for the past two years and local authorities simply can’t take a risk that it won’t happen again.

There’s a lot of truth in the saying ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. We’re sure council leaders up and down the country have had that one ringing in their ears in recent months.

Considering the amount of inconvenience and injury that a fresh snowfall can bring, we’re not sure how forgiving people would be if bad weather was to strike for the third winter in a row.

Recriminations would be justified if we were to be caught short again.

That’s why it’s good to see that Portsmouth City Council has put in place a detailed action plan to ensure it is ready to cope with the worst-case scenario.

Extra salt, more gritting machines and shovels should all guarantee that there’s enough tools at our disposal to cope with any significant change in conditions.

We understand that no plan is foolproof until it has been tested to its limit, but at least the city council should feel confident about how it would cope in a crisis.

Wintry weather is an inevitable part of life. But that does not mean shrugging our shoulders and accepting the disruption that it can bring.

The fact of the matter is there are many ways in which the impact of snow and ice can be lessened. Keeping roads and pavements clear really can make a significant difference.

We all have a responsibility to look after each other, especially when it is cold outside. Looking in on elderly neighbours is one of the easiest ways you can play your part.

Community spirit is never in short supply when the cold weather sets in – but there are things only our councils can do, so being prepared is vital.