Havering Council has said it has put gritting lorries on standby to respond to possible snow and ice.

A forecast by the Met Office claimed London is set for “a mix of sleet and snow showers” today (January 8) that will move in from the east with “temperatures near zero”.

In preparation for the upcoming cold weather, Havering Council said it has kept five gritting lorries ready with 2,000 tonnes of salt in the depot that would be enough to grit up to more than 380 miles of roads for almost three weeks of continuous snowfall.

MORE NEWS: Snow in London with weather warning: Live weather updates

Gritting teams, the council said, will be on-call 24/7 including on weekends. “Primary roads”, it added, will be gritted as soon as possible with priority given to bus routes and roads linking motorways and hospitals.

A spokesperson said: “Once priority roads are clear, the team will look at side roads (secondary routes) to help support the scheduled rubbish collections and enable emergency services to get about.”

In terms of other arrangements, the council is working alongside voluntary, community and local organisations and businesses to “set up a network of warm spaces across the borough this winter”.

Read More: Met Office forecasts snow: Hour-by-hour east London weather

These are said to include libraries, leisure centres, community centres, community hubs and other places. Some of these venues, the council said, will also offer hot drinks, activities, and other services such as free wi-fi.

“Warm Spaces will be heated, safe and friendly places, where residents can comfortably spend time reading, studying or chatting with others”, the council said.

For rough sleepers, the council has shared emergency contact numbers - 01708 432824 from 9am to 5pm, and 01708 433999 from 5pm to 9am.

It however said that council housing in Havering is very limited and the authority says it has a long list of people looking for housing so it is unlikely that a homeless person will be placed in a council house.

It said on its website: “Because of this we will give you help finding housing in the private rented sector. Sometimes this may be outside of Havering.

“As well as helping you find somewhere to live, we can also work with you to prevent you losing your current home.”

Havering’s community hub website also offers information on how to access financial help, local charities, food banks and events to keep active on this link: https://www.haveringcommunityhub.com/.

Council leader Ray Morgon said the winter presents the borough "with many challenges".

He said: “No one needs to be lonely or feeling disconnected because of a lack of community or illness. There is plenty of support in our community and I want everyone who needs it to access it as easily and as quickly as possible.

“We all have a part to play and I’m hoping that particularly during this season everyone will keep an eye on their family and neighbours, give a helping hand and sign posting them to help and support.”

A full list of winter tips put together by the council can be found here: https://www.havering.gov.uk/news/article/1315/keeping_well_this_winter