Council prepared for next winter

A PRO-ACTIVE parish council has invested in a multi-functional machine to combat severe winters and carry out other jobs around its village .

High tech Holme-on-Spalding Moor Parish Council has bought an £8,700 tractor, which can be fitted with a snow-blade and salt spreader, to clear snow and ice from pavements in the winter.

It also plans to use the tractor to cut grass during the summer months and collect litter.

Chris Worrall, chairman of the local council, said the council bought the machine in response to the problems the village had during the cold snap at the end of 2010 and start of 2011, when a thick blanket of snow and ice covered the region

He said: “Last year it was really bad. A lot of the roads in the village were blocked. East Riding couldn’t keep up with it and offered each council £2,000.

“Holme-on-Spalding Moor got volunteers to clear footpaths and hired mini JCB’s to clear footpaths and some of the roads.

“This year the council [East Riding] said it worked so well that they offered us a grant to do it again.”

The parish council received a severe weather grant of £3,000 which it has used towards the cost of the tractor. It contributed over £5,000 after taking out a low interest loan.

Mr Worrall said the parish council will soon be buying a snow-blade, salt spreader and grass cutter to attach to the machine, which will be operated by the local authority’s newly-appointed handyman Karl Cosquer.

East Riding councillor Peter Turner, portfolio holder for Localism, met members of the parish council last week and was impressed with the equipment it had bought.

According to the Mid Holderness Conservative ward councillor, the whole idea of East Riding Council’s severe weather grants scheme is to enable towns and villages in the region to look after themselves in situations like the cold snap which hit Britain over a year ago.

He said: “It means parish and town councils can apply for grants to buy equipment and services to clear snow in the event we have a severe winter.

“East Riding Council cannot instantly clear all the roads. It made these funds available for them and it has been a marvellous success.

Coun Turner added: “Holme-on-Spalding Moor’s equipment is most impressive.

“It’s good to see local communities are helping themselves to do what East Riding Council cannot do.”