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Winter Weather 

Severe Weather

In the event of the Met Office issuing a severe weather alert, please note the following.  Health risks to those such as older people, the very young and people with pre-existing medical conditions may be increased. Cold weather increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, lung illnesses, influenza and other diseases.

If you know or look after someone who may be particularly susceptible to the effects of very cold weather, please help make sure they stay warm and well.

  •  Stay tuned to the weather forecast
  •  Check and maintain daytime room temperature at 21°C
  •  Check bedroom night-time temperature and maintain it at 18°C or warmer
  •  If you have to go out, make sure you dress warmly and wear non-slip shoes. Also tell someone where you are going and let them know when you get back. If you have a mobile phone, keep it charged and on you at all times
  •  Keep active
  •  Dress warmly, eat warm food and take warm drinks regularly
  •  Check on those you know are at risk
  •  If you are concerned about your own health or welfare or that of others, alert the emergency services


Please go to NHS Keep Warm Keep Well for more advice:

Keep up to date with the latest weather news here:  or by following the

West Sussex County Council Highways latest cleck here:

Health & Safety Issues for Southwater Parish Council

Working on Behalf of West Sussex County Council (WSCC)
Regarding Public Liability Insurance – Southwater Parish Council (SPC) holds £10m public liability insurance.

On the issue of conducting work on behalf of WSCC –
In principal where WSCC provides materials to assist, the users would likely cover this on their own liability.

If a body is instructed to do works on WSCC behalf however, they would normally be covered under WSCC insurance (e.g. during the snow when SPC had some voluntary 4x4 drivers).

In addition to this advice from the legal team, WSCC highways confirm that all volunteers (i.e. Parish / Neighbourhood Councils, Farmers etc ...) who conduct work on their behalf will be considered along the same lines as volunteers who undertake tasks with WSCC (who are covered under our insurance) as long as there has been an appropriate risk assessment undertaken for the task being undertaken.

- Working on Behalf of Horsham District Council (HDC)
After consultation with the risk and insurance team at Zurich SPC can confirm that the District Council's approach to public liability insurance is consistent with that of West Sussex County Council.

In brief:

If Horsham District Council asks Parish Councils or volunteers to help as part of a mutual aid arrangement and they carry out duties on behalf of HDC and under our direction (say clearing pavements which are our responsibility) then those actions will be picked up by HDC policies. All tasks conducted on behalf of HDC however should be appropriately risk assessed and documented.

If under the same conditions a Parish Council asks if it is OK to clear them (but does so of their own volition) then they (the Parish Council) should expect their own liability policy cover to operate.

If the Parish Council just do it without any referral to HDC then clearly it is down to their (the Parish Councils) own public liability policy cover.

It is always wise and best practice to work with suitable and sufficient risk assessments to ensure that any work undertaken by the Parish Council is done so in a safe and practical manner. Regarding the use of Red Diesel by Farmers on Highways
The use of red diesel by farmers who are assisting the community with ice and snow clearance (or other associated tasks for winter maintenance) is a permissible act in the eyes of the law. Farmers will not be prosecuted for operating machinery that runs on red diesel whilst assisting the community in severe weather conditions.