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SERVICES BADLY HIT AS FUEL SHORTAGE WORSENS

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Councils were cancelling meetings, drawing up lists of staff able to get to work, and prioritising and suspending s...
Councils were cancelling meetings, drawing up lists of staff able to get to work, and prioritising and suspending services as the fuel crisis deepened.

As LGC went to press, councils were engaging in crisis management to ensure essential services were maintained.

The Local Government Association called on ministers to guarantee fuel supplies to essential services, including school bus services, heating for residential care services and transport for meals on wheels and home care staff.

Residents in Gloucestershire were asked to reduce the amount of rubbish thrown out in an emergency 'slim your bin' campaign.

The LGA asked for fuel to ensure rubbish collection and disposal, but this was cancelled in many areas as emergency committees drew up lists of priority services.

'As fuel distribution problems begin to bite across the country, we are calling on the government to ensure they use any emergency powers at their disposal to direct fuel resources to support these services,' said LGA chairman, Sir Jeremy Beecham.

Elsewhere, individual councils warned people not to make dangerous emergency stockpiles of fuel.

An LGA rural conference in Eastbourne was turned into a 'virtual conference' with delegates able to take part in workshops via the internet.

Warrington BC cancelled street cleaning and grass cutting to conserve fuel. Civic appointments and functions, such as the mayor's 'at home' day, were also axed.

School transport was badly hit with drivers in some areas warned not to take children to school if they could not guarantee to get them home again.

A letter was sent to parents of 1,300 children at special schools in Leeds telling them the bus service was likely to be suspended today if the blockades continued.

Wales was particularly badly hit. Council meetings were cancelled in Anglesey as staff were banned from making all but

essential journeys.

All 19 high schools in Rhondda Cynon Taff were closed because parents were unable to bring in their children from outlying areas.

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