'Quad squad' ready to battle county’s winter weather

Reporter:

Matt Jones

VOLUNTEER snow cleaners, quadbikes to thaw ice and increased grit deposits could be used to battle Arctic conditions in Flintshire this winter.

A shake-up of the county’s winter maintenance policy was ordered in April after a series of severe winters brought the county to a standstill.

Flintshire county councillors will review proposals today (Wednesday) which include ranking the county’s roads on a scale of priority, a dedicated budget to clear ice and snow from sheltered housing units and a new weather forecasting system near the coast.

Last winter Buckley councillor Richard Jones spearheaded a pilot volunteer project to help clear paths of snow and ice and the scheme could now be rolled-out across the county.

He said: “This is about protecting the vulnerable people in our communities.

“This is going to be good for the county.”

Cllr Jones added that there had been a “myth” circulating that anybody who cleared ice or snow away could subsequently be sued if somebody fell and injured themselves on the same patch of ground.

He said: “We got the relevant documents and risk assessment and that gave people the confidence that nobody would be claiming. It helped shopkeepers, helped people get around and prevented accidents. It was really successful.”

He said he would look to continue his volunteer effort this winter working alongside the council’s volunteer service.

Planning consent has already been given to store an additional 5,500 tonnes of salt at Greenfield Recycling Park to service the county’s gritters.

Flintshire Council has also said it will continue to work with community councils to allow them to purchase and maintain salt bins in addition to county provided facilities.

Utilising three quadbikes from other Streetscene services by fitting them with a spraybar system for thawing ice will also be looked at.

Plans will be discussed by the environment scrutiny committee today.

See full story in the Leader

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