24 Jan 2010

Snow all gone

Well the snow has gone and huge thanks must go to all who helped folk manage through the difficult times. I have to say it was a little shocking to have more snow on Wednesday - it took me an hour and three quarters to get to Gloucester in the car for work and some very dicey moments from other car drivers.....

Photos: Pics mostly from last Wednesday which includes below a grit lorry that got stuck on the corner near More Hall Convent - of course they had plenty of grit to rescuie themselves

We are of course now left with what the county Council estimate could be a £5 million bill for filling potholes! With finances already in a difficult position this potentially could have a very serious impact.

I have heard many stories of neighbours being wonderful - particular thanks for example must go to Cainscross Parish Councillor Christopher Capener who helped a local Randwick farm owner clear some of the rubbish left after the sledgers had gone. This included road signs (including some from Slad Road!), a car bonnet and much more.

However none of this was a touch on last year when vast amounts were cleared away by a team of litter pickers - this year it seems talking to sledgers and the notices put up - see here - did help.

We are now looking at ways to improve that signage if more snow comes - one suggestion - possibly tongue in cheek was an adopt a stile scheme where folk put up the notices on their local stile? Any other suggestions welcomed!


Anyhow we also had some nickers-of-grit - see here. This led to press announcements and notices going up but I am not sure this helped at one grit bin in Whiteshill.

Of course the biggest grit-nickers were the Government - we were told in the midst of all the snow that only major roads in Gloucestershire will be gritted after the council had to ration salt after the government took control of supplies.

The government said it would control all salt deliveries due to the national shortage. Of course this is right to direct where most needed but seems a little unfair when Glos had got good stocks due to the mess last February when they had to buy table salt.

Indeed salt stocks had been increased by 53 per cent to the maximum capacity of 7,500 tonnes and more was to be re-ordered from supplier Salt Union throughout the winter to ensure this was maintained. Anyhow I have been generally impressed with the vast gritting and ploughing tasks carried out - but of course here in this ward we have suffered quite badly from lack of gritted roads - at times they have been very dangerous and several days there was no access other than by 4x4 - indeed more gritted teeth than gritted roads?!


One area we need to get better at is the pavements - these seem to be left until last and leave pedestrians to walk in the road. In a survey by the Local Government Association nearly three quarters of people would back a law to protect householders who cleared snow away from a pavement outside their home from being sued by people who injured themselves slipping on it. A further 59% said they would support a legal obligation on householders - like in several other countries - to make sure the pavement outside their homes was clear of snow. This seems less possible as I can't see some vulnerable or disabled householders doing that - or those away on holiday etc - but would be interested to learn more??

Certainly one solicitor on the radio said he could not see someone suing and winning in the courts for clearing snow...

In terms of the grit bins (see many previous posts on this like here) we have had some success recently in re-siting some bins locally although there are still some problems and we have also not yet got an alternative to grit that can be used (see letter last year on this here). Whiteshill and Ruscombe Parish have also purshased some better bins which are much neater, safer and don't leak salt like the older broken plastic bins.

Other Ruscombe Green recent snow Blogs

One of my most popular blogs about the snow was how to make a snow lantern - see here - and the pics of the Redwing - indeed I had several emails from others locally who have also spotted this wee bird - and one from a keen birder who said even though the snow has gone please keep feeding the birds! See here deer in snow and here woods. Lastly a link here to the post "Weather is not climate".

To finish do please keep sending emails if you have thoughts on the recent weather and how we can better prepare for another such event....

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