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Suffolk County Council pays tribute to unsung heroes from recent snow disruption

PUBLISHED: 17:09 23 March 2018

Farmer David Nunn clearing snow between Mendlesham and Stowland

Farmer David Nunn clearing snow between Mendlesham and Stowland

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Suffolk County Council has paid tribute to the unsung heroes who helped keep Suffolk moving during the recent snow storms.

Snow drifts in  Alderton.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSnow drifts in Alderton. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A motion was put forward to Thursday’s full council meeting to formally recognise the “sterling work” of all those who helped make a difference during the ‘Beast from the East’ snow.

Among those who were recognised were Highways teams, nurses, carers, hospital and other healthcare staff who worked additional hours and battled through the snow to continue treating patients, firefighters, and farmers who helped clear roads.

Other members of the public who assisted neighbours, checked on vulnerable people, and helped transport friends and family to key jobs were also hailed.

Following various comments from councillors in recognition of the efforts of those who went above and beyond, Jane Storey, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways, transport and rural issues, said: “What I have heard this afternoon is Suffolk is brilliant – we look after our own and get on with it.”

Kenny Crane has been clearing the roads and helping people in need.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNKenny Crane has been clearing the roads and helping people in need. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

She added: “There were people who were doing amazing things.”

Nearly 80 farmers helped clear the county’s roads, while others also volunteered their services.

Teachers who made the early trips to their schools to make decisions on whether closures were needed were praised, as were those who took the decision to work from home.

Beccy Hopfensperger, cabinet member for adult care, added: “Privately I have thanked a number of staff for going above and beyond, but there are many examples of people in communities who rose to the challenge.”

Chantry Park was covered in a blanket of white.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChantry Park was covered in a blanket of white. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A public appeal for 4x4 drivers to help drive hospital staff to and from work in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds resulted in 86 offers within 24 hours of the callout, which Ipswich Hospital said was “overwhelming”.

Other reports of personal sacrifice included a number of employees at Ipswich, west Suffolk and Colchester hospitals choosing to stay the night after their shifts finished to ensure they would be available to provide care the following day, while many more reports were of staff working on days off and additional hours.

In rural parts of the county, farmers and Suffolk Fire and Rescue’s Unimog all terrain vehicle were seen helping pull stranded vehicles – including ambulances– clear from snow.

A woman in her 60s has been taken to hospital with serious injuries after a crash on the Dock Gate Roundabout in Felixstowe.

The BBC TV presenter Dan Snow has stressed the importance of preserving Suffolk’s precious history – and shared an surprising anecdote about a near-death experience in one of the county’s most famous rivers.

Rail services between Ipswich and Felixstowe are being reinstated after “slippery rails” left lines between the two towns blocked.

The big event may be more than nine months away - but councils and transport companies are making big plans for Ed Sheeran’s concerts in Ipswich next August Bank Holiday.

Suffolk and Essex are to received more than £20m extra from the government to maintain their local road network next year.

A woman who killed an 80-year-old great-grandmother in a head-on car crash has been ordered to carry out unpaid work.

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