Wrexham's gritting policy under fire

Reporter:

Matt Sims

COMPLAINTS have continued to pour in from members of the public about Wrexham Council’s gritting actions in the icy weather.

The Leader has been contacted by numerous readers who are deeply frustrated about the way the local authority has dealt with the situation.

Disabled people being unable to get out, out-patients missing hospital appointments, a lack of any grit in grit boxes and poor response from some council staff have been among the issues raised.

The Leader has received a letter from Wrexham Council’s chief environment officer John Bradbury and lead member for transport and environment David Bithell outlining the local authority’s position. The response was prompted by a letter in the Leader on January 6.

“Wrexham Council adopted a winter maintenance policy, approved by its executive board in March 2009. The purpose of the programme was to ensure that all strategic routes in Wrexham are kept clear of snow and ice,” the council’s says.

“The council has outstations located at strategic points throughout the borough which provide data used in accordance with site specific forecasts received from Meteogroup to ensure appropriate action is taken as required to safeguard the users of the public highways in Wrexham.

“To fulfil this requirement, Wrexham maximises the use of rocksalt which has the effectiveness of approximately eight hours and therefore, to safeguard the public between the hours of 6pm and 6am, it is necessary to provide two treatments.

“The rate of spread of 15 grammes per square metre is in accordance with national guidelines, which is 40 grammes per square metre during snow conditions.”

The letter stresses the council does not waste tax payers’ money by gritting unnecessarily. This is carried out only when absolutely required.

“We would like to remind all residents that the staff involved in the winter maintenance programme have worked extremely hard on the council’s behalf and many have given up Christmas and New Year with their families to ensure that the service is provided.

“Myself and Cllr Bithell have written to all staff concerned expressing our personal appreciation and thanking them for their commitment and dedication, as the value of this work cannot be overstated.”

See full story in the Leader

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