Medway Elects
Council: Reduce Time to Trigger Severe Weather Emergency Protocol

26 January 2017


Council regrets the deaths of two homeless people in Medway over the festive period.

Those deaths draw into question the council's existing policy which sees SWEP (severe weather emergency protocol) being triggered after three consecutive days of sub-zero temperature forecast. Council takes the view that three days is far too long for homeless people to possibly be subjected to sub-zero temperatures without SWEP being triggered.

Council notes that SWEP was triggered as a result of just one forecast day of sub-zero temperatures on the 29th December 2016 owing to 'low confidence in the forecast'. If the council deems it appropriate to trigger SWEP as a result of just one forecast day of sub-zero temperatures then it is only right that this becomes council policy.

Given that housing and homelessness are matters for cabinet, the council is asked to agree, in principle, and recommend the cabinet to amend its current policy to trigger SWEP as a result of one forecast day of sub-zero temperatures.

On being put to the vote, the motion was lost.

Vote Result

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