Winter gritting “imbalance” admits council

A REPORT into winter gritting by East Riding Council admits there is an “imbalance” between the council’s intentions and the public’s expectations.

County Hall has come under fire in recent years amidst claims by local residents that not enough is being done to clear roads and paths from snow and ice during the cold snaps.

But the council say they are continuing to improve their services, which included the parish winter grant scheme and the news that a new salt storage barn, the council’s fifth, is to be built in the region, which will increase the overall capacity by 3,000 tonnes.

The report reads: “During the past three winters the county has suffered some of the worst weather conditions for a long time, with more recent months being some of the worst on record.

“Bearing this in mind the winter service has been severely tested but has performed well in difficult circumstances.

“There has been problems with salt stock at national level but through prudent stewardship and timely management intervention, the council has been able to continue to deliver a good level of service.”

However, they admitted that: “Whilst the service continues to use opportunities to improve, there is an imbalance between what it sets out to do and what public expectations are during really bad weather.

“The service continues to seek new ways of improving and has implemented a range of initiatives that have helped in the delivery of a top-class and value-for-money service.”

The report was put to the Environment and Transport Scrutiny Committee recently and listed the initiatives, which includes pre-wetted salting, in which the grit is mixed with a solution to make it more effective, improved salting systems for the gritting vehicles, footpath salting on quad bikes and the parish pilot scheme, in which local councils were able to apply for money to help them combat the frozen weather.

Pocklington received £1,000 which was used to buy salt and an automatic gritting machine.

East Riding Council also say that they are “well above average” for footpath treatments, with 2.6 per cent of the region’s sidewalks being treated.