13-point winter gritting plan is a ‘waste of time’

A THIRTEEN point guidance note issued to town and parish councils on how to spread grit in times of heavy snowfall has been denounced as a waste of time.

Winter maintenance guidance notes were distributed to town and parish clerks by Cambridgeshire County Council last week ahead of potential bad weather, and training workshops are set to begin from September 27 for all volunteers and operators.

Volunteers are asked to wear high-visibility jackets or vests and stout footwear when carrying out the work, and to ensure they notify someone they have gone out to carry out the work - “Remember also to advise that person of your return.”

In addition, volunteers are cautioned to be aware of approaching traffic and not to attempt gritting if “conditions would make this unsafe.”

Brampton Parish Council chairman Mike Shellens said: “It says do not do it where it is dangerous. The whole point of spreading grit is you are doing it where it is dangerous.

“And given that the county council is having to make savage cuts to vulnerable people, I do not know, whether it is the best use of their time, doing this.”

But a county council spokesman said the notes had been put together to help community members keen to ensure pavements are clear during snowfall.

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Volunteers who have been trained by the county council will be covered by their insurance.

“It is literally just helping councils to take sensible precautions. This is just helping the people in the parishes who are gritting on our behalf.”