Wrexham villagers fume over council's gritting policy

Reporter:

Staff reporter

A CATALOGUE of complaints have been made to the Leader about Wrexham Council’s gritting policy in the Coedpoeth area.

Among villagers contacting us was Rhiannon Roberts who said: “I despair at the lack of organisation or common sense by Wrexham Council and its gritters over Christmas and New Year.

“There have been two heavy falls of snow recently. Requests to the council for our rubbish to be collected have fallen on deaf ears.

“We have been told the binmen had to continue with their normal schedules and only if they could fit us in would they do a catch up. We have been waiting for rubbish collection since December 10.

“Of course the refuse collection can’t be made if the roads are closed by the snow. Wrexham has been fortunate in escaping heavy falls of snow.

“It is important to keep major roads clear of ice and snow. But as Wrexham and low lying villages have had very little snow more consideration should have been given to Coedpoeth, Bwlchgwyn, Brymbo and surrounding villages.”

She also complained about villagers having to deal with empty grit boxes, a topic about which Andrew Anderton of Coedpoeth was equally angry.

“I have phoned the council on a number of occasions about the grit boxes, starting before Christmas, but nothing has been done. Wrexham has been quite good on matters like this in the past, but this year it has been really bad.”

Karl Daniel, of Coedpoeth, said in the run-up to the New Year residents from the village had been complaining to the local authority over a lack of grit in the grit boxes.

Wrexham Council said the prolonged icy conditions were set to stay for some time yet and its workers were continuing to work extremely hard to ensure the county’s roads are kept as clear as possible.

In a statement the council said: “The current cold snap has lasted almost continually since December 9 during which approximately 40 per cent of the council road network amounting to almost 500 kilometres of roads have been kept clear of ice and snow.

“The work has been carried out using the council’s gritting fleet with over 50 members of staff involved in the operation. During this period over 3,000 tonnes of rock salt has been put onto our roads.

“Salt supplies are being monitored throughout the UK and the supply of salt to local authorities is being co-ordinated at a national level. Wrexham’s salt supplies are currently adequate.”

Wrexham has a winter maintenance policy which prioritises roads for treatment.
Cllr David Bithell, lead member for the environment and transport, said: “Staff have been working incredibly hard to ensure as many roads as possible are salted.

“Salt, however, only has a life span of eight hours and the gritters have to return to those priority areas to keep the roads clear of ice.

“We understand that some residents are concerned about their particular areas and we would like to reassure them that we will continue to salt in accordance with the resources available to us.”

Wrexham Council said that during the cold spell residents are advised to heed all traffic and weather warnings and prepare adequately for any journey they have to make.

They are also encouraged to offer help or assistance to any vulnerable or elderly residents they are aware of who may be unable to get out and about during this time.

See full story in the Leader

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