‘Lessons will be learned’ from storm’s aftermath

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THE leader of Argyll and Bute Council has insisted that the authority was not too slow to respond to the power cuts which left Bute, and large parts of Argyll, without electricity following the freak storm of January 3.

Councillor Dick Walsh was speaking after criticism from some quarters that the emergency authorities did not do enough to communicate information to members of the public, for example by spreading the word that there was a refuge centre and soup kitchen at Rothesay Pavilion and mobile catering vans providing hot food around the town.

“It may have appeared to some that the council wasn’t doing anything,” Cllr Walsh said, “but I can assure you our emergency teams responded immediately.

“It was more difficult than usual to contact our communities as we had no electricity, phones or mobile signal but we have trained teams in all areas and these were able to respond without any direct external instruction. “We are learning lessons from this storm but we can be sure weather related incidents will continue in Argyll.

“I’d urge everyone to look at the advice offered by the Scottish Government so they can help make sure they’re prepared for the next storm which comes our way.”

* More on this story, including an exclusive interview with area social work manager John Duncan, who co-ordinated the local emergency response to the crisis, in the new issue of The Buteman - on sale on Thursday, January 12.