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Be winter ready – MSP warns

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By Fiona Reid

THE importance of having winter contingency plans has been highlighted to the Scottish Government and Scottish Water by Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray.

Her call came during a ministerial statement on winter resilience given by Transport Minister Derek Mackay, during which she also asked for assurances that Scottish Water was included in discussions with Transport Scotland and local authorities on winter plans.

Low temperatures during the winter of 2010/11 resulted in frozen water supplies to many homes, particularly in Annandale and Eskdale, leaving many households without running water for several days.
Dr Murray said: “A lot of us still remember the major problems which arose a few years ago when severe weather caused water supplies to freeze, leaving homes without a water supply and dependent on the delivery of bottled water.
“If predictions are correct, we may be in for another fierce winter this year. It’s therefore essential that Scottish Water have robust contingency plans in place if the same problems occur again.”
She added: “Winter always brings with it transport and health problems, and homes without water supplies for prolonged periods mustn’t be added to these.
“The Scottish Government and Scottish Water must plan to make sure that if the severe conditions of five years ago are repeated, the problems many of my constituents suffered then are not repeated.”
The Transport Minister has promised to write to Dr Murray with details of Scottish Water’s contingency plans.

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