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Winter Resilience

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 26th October 2011.

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Photo of John Mason John Mason Scottish National Party

Yes; I certainly do not want to overdo my commending of Glasgow City Council. Mr Stewart is right to say that we need to set priorities and that councils need to make them clear. There are sometimes misunderstandings on the part of the public that their pavements might be cleared immediately, whereas the priority must be the roads, the hills and the bus routes.

I realise that my time is escaping me. However, last winter when I was between jobs I worked for a charity that was headed up by a Canadian, who was amazed at how poorly prepared individual drivers were here. He told me a number of things about Canada in that regard. For example, he said that virtually every car there has two sets of tyres. In the long run, that does not cost any more, and they are used to changing them at various times. Similarly, every driver in Canada would be expected to carry a shovel, some grit and a candle for warmth, which makes a lot of sense. I mention in passing that I do not think that Stewart Stevenson deserved to have to resign last winter.

We need to remember that we are only human beings and that nature is bigger than us. Be it a tsunami in Japan, volcanoes in Iceland, earthquakes in Turkey or exceptionally cold temperatures in Scotland, we will not be ready for everything. It is how we cope with the unexpected that really matters.