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Snow causes problems for businesses and residents

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 25, 2013

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AS Cheltenham has turned white this week, the reality for many has not been beautiful winter walks and snowball fights.

Small businesses were some of the worst hit as workers stayed at home and supply chains ground to a halt.

Adam Lillywhite said the icy weather and potential cancellation of the races this weekend had hit hard at his hotel, Cheltenham Townhouse in Pittville Lawn.

He said: "We had a call on Wednesday night which effectively cancelled 20 per cent of our rooms for Friday and Saturday night. That's 10 rooms on Friday and Saturday night which may now be empty. These people just did not feel like going away because they thought it would be too cold.

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He added: "The snow has affected us without a doubt. We lost the racing at the beginning of the month on New Year's Day and that cost us a lot of customers."

As a result of snow, rubbish collections in Cheltenham were halted, although the council yesterday said they had again would started to pick up waste.

Fiona Wild, of Charlton Kings, said the bins in her road should have been collected on Wednesday. but residents might now have to wait until February 6.

She said: "We are only a family of two and already our bins are overflowing. There are at least two families of five down this road and I don't know how they are going to cope.

"These people are being complete wimps. We are in our 60s and we have not had any problems walking on the streets."

Beth Boughton, waste and recycling manager for the council's waste provider Ubico Ltd, said: "It remains unsafe to reinstate full collections as some areas of the borough are still very icy. However, crews will start to collect black bag waste wherever conditions allow."

The thaw this weekend means there is an increased risk of floods.

The Met Office shows Gloucestershire on the edge of a band of heavy rain sweeping in from the Atlantic this afternoon. But it could turn to sleet or snow if temperatures remain freezing.

A warmer weekend, with 8C (46F) predicted tomorrow, will signal the start of a thaw that could be just as disruptive as the freezing conditions.

Ian Thomas, the Echo's weather expert, said: "There will be a high risk of flooding in some areas, as the snow melts away and temperatures rise." READER PICTURE SPECIAL, P28

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