Mansfield and Ashfield set for winter weather this weekend

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BRITAIN could be in for a month of bitterly cold weather, according to forecasters, as winter finally arrives this weekend.

After one of the mildest winters on record so far, the Met Office is predicting snow falling as far south as Devon – and temperatures dropping throughout the country.

But Nottinghamshire County Council is reassuring residents that it is ready to do battle with the elements – after months of preparation.

“We learned a lot from last winter’s prolonged bad weather,” said Coun Richard Jackson, county council cabinet member for transport and highways.

“We began planning for this year almost immediately and are confident that we are in a stronger position than last year to deal with any prolonged cold spell.”

The County Council has the capacity to store 22,000 tonnes of salt, which is 12,000 tonnes more than the absolute minimum recommended by the government and enough for all but the most severe winters.

The county’s salt stocks currently stand at 17,800 tonnes and the Council’s gritting teams are on full 24/7 standby – ready to grit the county’s main routes as temperatures plummet.

In addition, the County Council has signed up local farmers who will pitch in when the going gets tough, as well as snow wardens in local villages. It has also trained members of staff to drive 4x4 vehicles so that they can help deliver essential services in severe weather.

“We are absolutely determined to keep our county on the move this winter,” added Coun Jackson.

Residents can keep tabs on when the county’s roads are being gritted by signing up to the Council’s Gritter Twitter feed to receive the latest gritting alerts and help them plan their winter journeys.

People can sign up at www.twitter.com/nottscc.