This is the trouble, places like Norway and Sweden get the same every winter, and have been used to dealing with it for decades, we don't so we get caught on the hop. And yeah last year was quite mild by comparison to the few that went before it, though we did get some snow. I can still remember not so long ago us going through a period of many years practically snow free for the most part, but I remember as a child it always seeming to snow, so these things come and go.
Which makes a bugger planning for it because too many mild winters in a row and suddenly councils are wasting money. They cut back and we then get a bad winter and suddenly it's "Why weren't you ready?"