6 Feb 2009

Snow, snow and more snow...where is our grit?

Working at home again today but only a half day so just finished and intend to go out into the snow but here's a wee update...

Photos: of the parish in the snow have been uploaded to the website - this one of the Charley's lake in Ruscombe is from Maggie Booth (no relation!) - see more under pictures at: www.wrpc.org.uk

The weather is clearly having a huge impact on all aspects of life - schools closed again so even if folk can get to work they still can't if no childcare, buses cancelled, recycling and rubbish collection cancelled (none done in our area), Ebley Mill just closing with the exception of emergency calls, leisure services disrupted (check before going anywhere).....and much more...just heard a friend in Nailsworth has come home to find her car crushed under a huge tree branch which collapsed under weight of snow......another friend got a wee way in their car then stuck in snow - had to dig out a parking space to push it into for collecting later...

Where is our grit??

Well as most people will have realised Highways will not come out to our area unless we have an emergency because they are so stretched. Which is understandable. In a report from our Snow Warden in Whiteshill, Cllr Gerri Kimber I hear that a lone tractor has put an attachment to the front and apparently has gone up the main road in Whiteshill. She has also been liaising with Highways over more grit for this area....

Basically the County Council is reducing its programme of gritting to maintain essential routes - despite an agreed delivery contract, the council learned this week that no further deliveries of salt into Gloucestershire could be guaranteed. GCC state that: "Salt stocks nationally are under pressure and although the council planned ahead and ordered more than enough salt to grit all the county's primary and secondary routes, delivery cannot be guaranteed. "

They have said no secondary routes will be gritted and salt bins will not be replenished in order to preserve stocks, as sub-zero conditions are forecast to continue over the weekend and beyond. I have to say this is really unacceptable - and was pleased to see The Citizen comment also calling it unacceptable - my Norwegian partner just shakes her head in disbelief at how a few inches of snow can create so much chaos - we really should have stocks of grit stored in the County and stuff like chains, ploughs etc should be much more available for services. Yes it doesn't happen often but again with climate change while it means a warming overall it also means more extreme weather events - and hey I am not putting this snow down to climate change just making the point that we need to be better prepared for all extreme weather conditions.

Who is taking our grit?

At the weekend I discovered in Far Westrip some grit bins had disappeared - I photographed this one and apparently it has now also gone? I've also now noticed one gone from Bread Street. Highways have clearly been too busy to reply to me but I am wondering if they have pinched them for use elsewhere?

Once our salt bins are empty locally – some already are - they will not be replenished in the short term. So use sparingly - but be safe. Cars are driving in many areas but the villages here are very very quiet - indeed only seen two 4x4s. Amazingly our local paper is still delivered - well done to that lad!!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Bin in the photograph realy is unsuitable for the storage of Grit Salt. Most of the council,s and local authorities in the UK buy their Grit Bins on line from www.impbins.com Maybe you should direct them there for a a better quality bin.

Philip Booth said...

Have been pushing for improvements for a long time - both Parishes are now considering some improvements but the County wont fund. However I'm hopeful we will see some movement on this soon....