Suffolk braced for more snow
SUFFOLK was today braced as forecasters predicted snow would sweep eastern England from the North Sea.Up to two inches of snow was being predicted today – and breakfast-time flurries were already turning the streets white in Felixstowe.
SUFFOLK was today braced as forecasters predicted snow would sweep eastern England from the North Sea.
Up to two inches of snow was being predicted today – and breakfast-time flurries were already turning the streets white in Felixstowe.
However police today praised drivers who had been taking care on the county's roads – there were very few rush-hour accidents.
Forecasters at the government's Met Office predicted that a blanket of snow up to five centimetres (two inches) deep could settle across an area between the Wash and the coast.
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The snow was moving in from the North Sea, and was expected to die out after lunchtime leaving a brighter, but still cold, end to the day.
And they warned the cold snap could continue until the weekend, when there will be a slight rise in temperatures.
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Despite the icy temperatures this week, it is still not cold enough for the elderly to qualify for cold weather payments from the Government.
One of the region's MPs renewed his calls for a shake-up in the system which he claimed was unjust.
Currently, people aged over 60 on income support are given an extra £8.50 only if the temperature stays at, or is forecast to stay, at an average of 0C or below for seven days.
Despite bitterly cold conditions in recent days, temperatures have not consistently met the criteria and the forecast means nobody will receive the payout.
But David Ruffley, Conservative MP for Stowmarket and Bury St Edmunds, wants the timescale measured reduced from one week to just two or three days.
"The more difficult you make it, the fewer people are eligible and the less money they (the Government) have to shell out," he said.
Daphne Savage, chief executive of Age Concern Suffolk, said she believed the payment should be made after just one day of freezing weather.
She said: "People need the extra heat from day one, particularly through the night. They are worrying from day one about how they are going to pay for it."
But the Department for Work and Pensions has defended the current system, and said the Winter Fuel Payment given to all pensioners over 60 annually was now £200.