Busy Christmas for County Council services
29 December 2017
Staff at Norfolk County Council have worked around the clock over the Christmas period, supporting vulnerable adults and children, gritting and clearing roads, fighting fires and responding to road traffic incidents.
Many Council services continue to operate 24 hours a day over the festive period and have been extremely busy this year, with a significant increase in safeguarding calls.
The council’s emergency duty team, which responds to adults and children’s social care referrals outside of normal office hours, dealt with 559 referrals (374 adult calls and 185 children’s services calls) from the evening of Friday, 22 December to 9am on 27 December – up from 238 referrals over the same period last year.
The referrals related to a range of issues including mental health assessments and adult and child safeguarding issues, many relating to family breakdown.
Tom McCabe, Executive Director of Community and Environmental Services at Norfolk County Council, said: “We know that Christmas can be a difficult time for families, which is why our staff work around the clock to provide support and safety to vulnerable children and families.
“With some difficult weather conditions our highways teams have also cleared trees and debris from our roads over the festive period and have been on several gritting runs as the weather has turned colder in recent days.
“Our firefighters, as always, have worked 24/7 to keep people safe, tackling fires and tending to road traffic collisions throughout the Christmas period.”
The council’s Swift and Night Owls services, which provide help for adults with an urgent, unplanned social care need at home, also worked throughout Christmas.
The teams supported 197 people between the evening of 22 December and 9am on the 27 December. The team helps to keep people in their homes and reduces demands on other emergency services. For example, if someone has a fall but is not seriously injured, Swifts can bring special lifting equipment to help make moving as safe as possible.
With many people travelling to see loved ones over the festive period, the council Highways team also worked around the clock to help keep the roads clear. Between Christmas Day and Wednesday, they cleared 59 fallen trees and one oil spill, repaired a sinkhole and removed debris from carriageways.
Since Boxing Day, Highways Teams have been gritting extensively with some areas being done six times. About 1,500 tonne of salt has been used in that time.
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service received more than 30 calls over Christmas Day and Boxing Day, responding to vehicle and building fires, as well as road traffic incidents.