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February 23, 2010 6:17 PM

Winter isn't over yet and may still bite but we're already looking at any lessons learned from the worst Christmas and January weather for 30 years.

The council had adequate supplies of grit overall but things were getting tight by the fourth week.

The priorities were clearing the main roads and the bus routes, other streets that were especially bad, shopping centres and areas around homes for the elderly and other communal areas.

Over 250 council staff were redeployed to snow clearing by hand.

There are over a thousand miles of pavements in Newcastle so it isn't practical to grit them all.

We thank all those local people who showed true grit themselves by looking out for their neighbours and lending a helping hand.

Newcastle North campaigner Ron Beadle has criticised the Government's decision to take central control of grit supplies.

"Newcastle has perfectly good arrangements with local suppliers," he said.

"Now the government decides who gets what and will only authorise the release of a maximum of two days at a time depending on what they think the local weather calls for.

"It's crazy. It means councils cannot grit roads and pavements as they would wish."