As snow starts to fall across the Midlands, Nottinghamshire's gritting teams are preparing to head out on the county's roads tonight and into the morning.
A band of rain, sleet and snow is expected later tonight. The Met Office suggests that we will get snow and sleet around 4-6am, which is likely to cause icy conditions.
Garry Chadburn, Electrical and Environmental Maintenance Manager at Via East Midlands, said:
We will be out and about both tonight and tomorrow morning gritting main routes and secondary routes as well as salting footpaths.
Nottinghamshire's gritting teams are out on the roads as we move into October. The County Council has 12,000 tonnes of salt stocked up.Read the full story ›
We have been looking at the subject of broadband in the West Midlands.
Our correspondent Phil Brewster has been examining what is being done to upgrade our broadband network.
In response to our feature, a spokesperson from Nottinghamshire County Council said:
Nearly 96% of homes and businesses in the county can now access super fast broadband thanks to the programme being delivered by the County Council in partnership with BT.
This puts us well ahead of the national average (91.4%) and East Midlands average (94.6%).
Phase two of our programme, which started earlier this year, will see us achieve 98% coverage in the county by Spring 2018.
Nottinghamshire residents are being advised on how to avoid disappointment when booking a holiday.Read the full story ›
Staff who smoke will be encouraged to leave their cigarettes at home and advice and support will be offered to those who want to give up.Read the full story ›
Plans have been unveiled to regenerate the Broadmarsh area of Nottingham city centre. Works are to start next year.Read the full story ›
The head of Nottinghamshire County Council will experience what it's like next month to try to navigate walking outdoors for someone who is visually impaired.
It's hoped the event on the 9th November will raise awareness about the work of guide dogs.
Anthony May, the County Council's Chief Executive, will walk through West Bridgford wearing a blindfold whilst being assisted by a trainee guide dog.
The walk will involve crossing roads, going down narrow pavements and avoiding obstacles on pavements like cars and cafe furniture.
The 'Guide Dogs' Street Ahead' campaign is looking to highlight the issues visually impaired people experience on a daily basis when trying to navigate streets, including clutter on pavements.
Nottinghamshire County Council has announced plans for a ban on employees taking smoking breaks during work time.
We ask do workers have a right to take a break for a cigarette?
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Nottinghamshire County Council has insisted plans to ban smoking breaks are part of its desire to be a 'supportive employer' and that they have a 'duty of care' to the people that work for them.
Here is their full statement:
“Smoking is still public health’s number one enemy. Nottinghamshire County Council, along with a number of other partners, has signed the Nottinghamshire and Nottingham Tobacco Declaration that commits us to take action against tobacco which in turn improves the health of our staff."
“We are trying to be a supportive employer and have a duty of care to protect the health of our employees as part of a wider remit to take a leading role in promoting better health in Nottinghamshire."
“If you asked 100 smokers if they wanted to give up, 70 of them would want to. With this in mind we want to encourage staff to attend smoking cessation services. If they don’t want to give up smoking they will get withdrawal symptoms at work because of their nicotine addiction."
"We want to support staff by encouraging them to use Nicotine Replacement Therapy at work. The cost of Nicotine Replacement Therapy is cheaper than cigarettes so we are not asking staff to spend more money than usual."
“National research suggests that staff who smoke take more time off work to have breaks and have more sick leave through respiratory problems."
“Another reason for encouraging staff to give up smoking is that they become better role models for their children and the children are less likely to start smoking in the first place if their parents are non-smokers.”
Smoking breaks will be banned for thousands of council employees under new proposals.
Nottinghamshire County Council has said its 9,000 employees will be barred from smoking during work time with the ban extending to e-cigarettes, in the mooted plans.
Anyone who fails to stick to the rules could face internal disciplinary action.
The local authority said the ban, to include all council buildings, land and vehicles, was aimed at boosting its workers' health, increasing time spent working and reducing levels of sick leave.
But the largest public sector union Unison has said the stringent rules will be unenforceable and has urged the council to support smokers in quitting rather than haul wayward employees into disciplinary meetings.
The council's deputy director of public health John Tomlinson said smoking was still "public health's number one enemy" and the local authority had committed itself to action.
"We are trying to be a supportive employer and have a duty of care to protect the health of our employees as part of a wider remit to take a leading role in promoting better health in Nottinghamshire.
"If you asked 100 smokers if they wanted to give up, 70 of them would want to.
"With this in mind we want to encourage staff to attend smoking cessation services.
"If they don't want to give up smoking they will get withdrawal symptoms at work because of their nicotine addiction."
The council has said it will encourage staff to use alternatives like nicotine patches to kick their habit, arguing the cost to its staff would be cheaper than a packet of cigarettes.
"National research suggests that staff who smoke take more time off work to have breaks and have more sick leave through respiratory problems.
"Another reason for encouraging staff to give up smoking is that they become better role models for their children and the children are less likely to start smoking in the first place if their parents are non-smokers."
The council has about 9,000 employees across all its departments, excluding teachers.
Employees get a short morning and afternoon break, but no smoking will be allowed during these periods under any ban.
Smoking will be allowed during lunch breaks but not in uniform or anywhere near council property, according to the union, Unison.
"We're supportive of public health and we haven't got a stance on this, but we are balloting members asking whether they would be for or against.
"I don't see yet how they could enforce it. Say you work in highways, if you want to smoke, you need to take all your uniform off and go as far away from site as possible and have a cigarette and then come back.
"You're not going to be able to smoke in your uniform, or if you're standing outside your council workplace or are wearing a council badge or lanyard.
"If you're in the parks department, you won't be able to - even when you're outside.
"If anybody goes out on council business and drives their own car, they won't be able to smoke."
Unions will discuss the proposals with the council in the autumn, with the ban expected to come into force early next year.