Severe weather update: some schools to reopen on Wednesday

Some primary schools in Edinburgh are to re-open on Wednesday and 4th-6th year pupils at all secondary schools should attend (1st - 3rd year should stay at home).

With colder temperatures and more snow expected, the situation remains changeable so parents are urged to continue checking the Council's website and Radio Forth for updates.

Councillor Robert Aldridge, Environment Leader, said: "I want to thank everyone for their patience. With such a lot of snow falling in such a short space of time, it's inevitably going to take some time to clear residential streets and restore other services to normal. I also want to thank those people who have been good neighbours to vulnerable people and the Council staff who have been working flat out to keep the city moving."

Schools 

All school staff should report to work tomorrow. If staff cannot report to their usual place of work then they should go to the nearest City of Edinburgh Council school.

All secondary schools will be open for 4th-6th year pupils tomorrow - all secondary pupils should bring a packed lunch. Pupils who get transport from Ratho, Kirknewton and Livingston to Balerno High School should not attend as transport is unavailable.

The following primary schools will re-open tomorrow:

Craigentinny

Broughton

James Gillespie's Primary School (nursery closed)

Sciennes

Gylemuir (nursery closed)

Bruntsfield 

The following nurseries will re-open tomorrow:

Cowgate

Calderglen

Tynecastle 

All special schools with remain closed with the exception of the Panmure St Ann's service.

All City of Edinburgh Council community centres will re-open with the exception of Ratho, Roseberry Hall, Inch, Jack Kane, Bingham and Magdalene.

Anyone looking to attend external events normally hosted in schools, e.g. councillor surgeries or community groups, should check if they are going ahead. Day and evening adult education classes are cancelled for the rest of the week.

All Child and Family centres will be open with a reduced service. Please contact the centres direct for information.

Roads

All 'category 1' and some 'category 2' priority routes were treated yesterday. Due to continued snowfall it was necessary to revert to category 1 routes. All category 1 routes have been treated today and work has begun on category 2. Staff are working round the clock to keep the city's main roads clear.

Extra staff have been allocated to work on snow clearing. However, workers are experiencing difficulties with the exceptional levels of snow on roads and pavements as well as obstacles such as abandoned cars. Mechanical plant i.e. JCBs are being used to excavate and remove snow to gain access to many of these routes.

The Council has used 1802 tonnes of salt between 25 - 29 November, 2803 since the start of winter maintenance. Supplies were standing at 5374 tonnes, as at this morning.

Waste collection

Bin lorries were unable to go out yesterday or today. However, refuse workers have been helping with snow clearing. Any bins not collected as scheduled will be picked up as soon as possible.

Weather forecast

Some more snow is expected but should be less than in recent days. However, temperatures are expected to drop significantly, with widespread frost and ice.

Health and care services

Council-owned or voluntary day centres will remain closed for the rest of the week. However, staff are reporting to work and are contacting all service users and families. Staff will be assessing whether vulnerable adults and older people require any additional assistance and are taking appropriate action.

All social work centres are open and despite access difficulties all Council care homes are receiving deliveries and are fully staffed. Home care and re-ablement staff are reprioritising case loads to ensure emergency cases are covered such as meals and personal care.

Anyone who is concerned about someone who they feel should be getting assistance can contact the social care direct team at the Council on 0131 200 2324, and staff there will arrange appropriate follow up. In the evenings and weekend contact can be made with the out of hours service at 0800 731 6969.

Pentland Rangers are driving social workers and home care workers in the Oxgangs area to individuals' homes in 4x4 vehicles to ensure support is provided. 

Other

In consultation with the event organisers, we have taken the decision to cancel a number of Christmas lights switch-ons, which have been made impractical in the ongoing severe weather. Event management arrangements such as putting up barriers, rigging up stages and PA systems and tree-dressing have all been compromised by the heavy snowfall. Underfoot conditions at each of the event sites could also pose a safety risk.

The current situation will be monitored over the coming days and we will continue to liaise with the organisers to see if any of the ceremonies can be rescheduled.

The following switch-ons are affected:

* Lauriston Place / Tollcross (30 Nov)

* Kirkgate, Leith (2nd Dec)

* Restalrig Road South (2nd Dec)

* Queensferry (2nd Dec)

* Morningside (2nd Dec)

* Grassmarket (3rd Dec)

* Davidson Mains (3rd Dec)

* Marchmont Cres. (4th Dec)

* Gorgie Farm ((5th Dec)

While we appreciate the disappointment this decision will cause, our top priority must be to ensure the safety of the public, contractors and employees.

Further updates will be provided as soon as available via the Council's severe weather pages, on @edinburgh_CC and @edintravel on Twitter and via local media, including Radio Forth.

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