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Snow Joke

January 5, 2011 8:00 AM

It was one of the worst Decembers in living memory for snow and ice. Some streets in our area, for example off West Denton Way, were almost impassable for up to two weeks, despite the efforts of council workers working long shifts in difficult conditions.

As dustbin collections had to be suspended, around 600 council staff in the city were deployed onto clearing the snow by shovel. The priority was to try to clear access to shopping centres, schools, old peoples' homes and pedestrian bridges, and for roads on steep inclines.

All available gritting teams were out for long shifts, and local neighbourhood teams kept grit bins topped up every few days. The council has more grit available then last winter and there have been extra grit boxes put in place, at the request of residents and councillors.

The problem for those involved in snow clearing was that the snow kept coming down in heavy showers every few hours, lying on top of areas already cleared or before gritting would take hold.

Theft of Grit

"The other big problem was the selfishness of people who took far more than they needed out of the grit boxes, and in some cases were just clearing them out altogether." said Councillor Sarah Cross. Grit is intended for footpaths and roadways, not for private driveways.

Some were taking grit for personal gain, and several cases are being investigated of people selling on to shopkeepers and others grit which they had taken from the public grit boxes.

"We would like to thank council staff who worked in such tough conditions" said Councillor Graham Middleton. "We understand the frustration of residents whose streets and pathways were last to be cleared, and we're grateful for the appreciation shown by many people of the efforts of council staff."

"There will probably be more bad weather to come, so we appeal to residents to help out their vulnerable neighbours and to report to Envirocall (274 4000) any information they have about the theft of grit".

The Council needs to keep its bad weather plans under constant review, so let us have your own comments and ideas.