Fears over empty Flintshire grit bins

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Staff reporter

LIVES could be put at risk because grit bins in a village will remain empty until January.

Residents in Bagillt have been told their empty grit bins will not be refilled until next year.

“There’s been a lot of thefts from the bins,” said Bagillt councillor Mike Reece.

“The council is saying it won’t refill the bins because of the thefts but it’s like a catch-22 situation because people may fall and end up in hospital because of it.

“An elderly gentleman fell and broke some ribs on Sandy Lane in Bagillt the other day.”

The grit bins in Buckley are also empty, and Bill Paget, 70, who lives in Penley Road, says the bin on his road has been empty for a week.

He said residents would be happy to help each other grit the road themselves if only they had supplies of grit.

He said: “On TV they’re saying we’ve got salt coming out of our ears but every time I try to find out from the council when the bins will be refilled I get a different answer.”

Mr Paget says his daughter, who lives on the nearby Berwyn Close, needs the roads to be gritted to get to work. “That’s what we’re paying council tax for,” he said.

It’s so frustrating. Everybody would help each other by putting grit down on the road if we had some. It’s ridiculous.”

Steve Jones, Flintshire's head of Streetscene, said: “Flintshire County Council’s approved Winter Maintenance Policy requires each salt bin to be refilled at the beginning of the winter and during January, subject to the availability of material.”

Meanwhile, Flint councillor Alex Aldridge has also highlighted extra cash to boost grit provision in the Flint area during the cold snap and he hopes it will show the people of Flint that the council is listening to their concerns and working hard to act on them.

All four wards will benefit from the extra grit and bins will be strategically placed at accident blackspots on Old London Road, Cornist Drive and Windsor Drive.

He said: “Conditions under foot are very difficult at the moment, particularly for the very young and elderly.

“Flint residents have voiced their concerns about travelling in such icy conditions and we have responded accordingly. I’m just urging residents to remember what this bonus is all about.

“The extra grit is being allocated specifically for use on roads and public pathways, not for people’s drives. Anyone who’s desperate for salt for their drives should buy their own.”

Flint Town Council will be responsible for keeping the bins fully stocked and has allocated extra funds from its own budget.

Cllr Aldridge added: “We hope this move will improve the quality of life for Flint residents by making it easier to move around.”

EXTRA funding has been announced to help Flintshire County Council over the winter months.

The Welsh Assembly Government will give an additional £360,000 for highway maintenance and winter service, and Cllr Tony Sharps, FCC executive member for the environment, said: “The additional £360,000 is most welcome and will help lower the impact of a greatly reduced Road Maintenance Grant which the council received from the Assembly this year.

“I hope the Welsh Assembly Government will now reconsider its commitment to the future of the grant which has in the past allowed the council to deliver an efficient and well maintained highway network, essential in promoting economic growth across the region.”

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