Council staff thanked for their emergency response
Members of the Skye, Ross and Cromarty Area Committee have praised council staff for their reaction to the recent storm and power outages which affected many communities across the area.
At yesterday’s meeting Chairman Councillor Hamish Fraser said: “As the forecast storms swept through the Highlands, staff were out working in terrible weather conditions and I have nothing but admiration for them during this difficult time. In my own ward everyone pulled together and the whole community was very proactive, making sure information was shared, resources were pooled and assistance was well co-ordinated.
“Across the whole area Council staff worked side by side with those from the emergency services as well as getting huge help from the third sector, local businesses, community councils and local groups and private individuals. I want to thank everyone for the excellent liaison work and it was heartening to see how people pulled together and looked after each other.”
Many councillors echoed his comments and also expressed their thanks to council staff as well as the emergency services, SSE and Scottish Water employees, the many community volunteers and other partner organisations for their hard work.
As part of the discussions on the way the Council had responded to the weather and power outages, the Committee recognised that the biggest challenge people faced was communications and ensuring all vulnerable people living in communities were identified. Another issue was that now most homes have some form of central heating, many houses did not have access to portable gas or other independent heating devices.
Two pilot projects running in Lochaber were highlighted as examples of good practice. In these communities work is co-ordinated so that a community co-ordinator is identified, a list of vulnerable people is kept up-to-date, a local contact system is set up so everyone can be kept informed and households are encouraged to have resilience kits with battery operated radios and torches and plug in telephones that do not require electricity.
In providing feedback for a council-wide debrief the committee will be highlighting the importance of compiling lists of vulnerable people, asking that pressure be put on mobile phone companies to be more resilient and requesting that a generator be provided for the Council Offices in Dingwall.