Councils improve winter weather comms

Councils dealing with heavy snowfall focused comms on emphasising preparations and generating 'a community response'.

Comms issues: Heavy snow
Comms issues: Heavy snow

With snow falling on most of the UK, the Local Government Association's comms director David Holdstock said tough lessons had been learned when local authorities faced similar conditions two years ago.

There have been 520 regional and local stories, and 16 national newspaper articles around councils preparing for, and dealing with, the low recent temperatures.

'We talk about proactive comms, and local government learned a lot from two years ago, when we weren't explaining all the things we were doing to help residents,' he said.

Holdstock highlighted Nottinghamshire and Hillingdon councils, which both arranged photocalls in the autumn, when they had grit delivered, as examples of good practice and the way that preparations had been highlighted in the media.

This was followed by a survey sent out by the LGA, which showed winter readiness, the results of which were publicised.

Following the report, Holdstock said the LGA worked to support messaging across councils and put up an expert for a BBC TV interview, explaining that the decision with regard to school closures rested solely with head teachers.

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