Snow Friends conference – preparing for winter is snow joke

Published Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Residents’ associations and other community groups are being invited to this year’s Snow Friends conference on 18 August at 6.30pm in preparation for the winter ahead

The conference is being streamed live on the council’s website and interested residents can attend virtually at the time by visiting www.bromley.gov.uk/councilmeetingslive, with limited attendance also available by booking.  It’s never too soon to prepare for the unknown and residents interested in setting up new Snow Friend groups, are being encouraged to attend the conference or contact the council for further details before the start of wintry weather and possibly heavy snowfall.

Councillor Will Rowlands, Executive Assistant for Environment and Community Services said, “Snow Friends have already proved themselves to be invaluable in removing snow from the smaller residential roads which the Council simply cannot get to, allowing Council crews to concentrate on critical main routes and more heavily used pavements.”

Councillor Rowlands continued, “We are enormously proud of our Snow Friends who remain on standby over the winter, ready to help clear snow from their residential street and our thanks goes to them.  We are inviting existing Snow Friends to tune in as well but if you would like to find out more about being a Snow Friend, you are warmly invited to tune into our Snow Friends conference.”

The Snow Friends initiative supplements the council's existing gritting and snow clearing operations which are the most extensive of any London Borough.  With capacity to store 7,000 tonnes of salt, the council has one of the largest supplies of salt stocks of any London Borough.  Of the 500 miles of roads in the borough, around 280 miles of main road will be treated when road temperatures are predicted to be freezing, with the council gritting more miles of road than other boroughs. In addition, the council's snow clearance crews also work to clear snow from pavements across the borough, focussing on town centres, outside schools and transport interchanges. As this work still leaves many residential roads and pavements ‘untreated’, Snow Friends are able to provide support by clearing snow from their local street with salt and snow scoops provided free of charge by the council (subject to availability).

Residents considering volunteering as a Snow Friend can be assured that there is no law preventing them from clearing snow and ice from the pavement or pathway outside their property, or from public spaces. Snow Friends are advised to be careful and use common sense to ensure that they do not make the pavement or pathway more dangerous than before, but people walking on areas affected by snow and ice also have a responsibility to be careful themselves.

Willing volunteers can also contact the council at www.bromley.gov.uk/snowfriends to join an existing group or to register their interest in possibly starting a group with like-minded neighbours.

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For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Rogers, Communications Executive, on 020 8461 7670  or email andrew.rogers@bromley.gov.uk