SALFORD CITY COUNCIL
Yes, nominations for Salford Council have come in from all over the city – from old ladies slipping in the grounds of their sheltered accommodation, to people not being able to get to work because their road hasn't been gritted once during the whole three week spell of icy weather.
`What do we pay our Council Tax for?'...`Why haven't they been stockpiling grit during the mild winters?'…`My road always used to be gritted but not any more – are they just saving money?' people have been asking us.
Barbara Spicer, Salford Council Chief Exec sent out a memo to councillors yesterday stating "We currently have enough grit left to continue cautiously gritting the primary routes. We are working with both our own services and those of partners (police, hospital etc) to prioritise gritting, use of the snow plough and also helping with the manual clearance of snow…we are aiming to get staff out again tomorrow to manually to remove snow from vulnerable places such as outside the care homes."
And the Council website reports that "Non-primary routes will not be gritted".
We can't find any reports on the Council's website about its emergency winter plans for this year. But what we have found is a report from winter 2007 bellyaching about a £50,000 cost for gritting footways, as a result of implementing The Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003, "in which Section 111 provides a duty on the Highway Authority to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that safe passage along the highway is not endangered by snow and ice".
The report continues that in the Act the words "reasonably practical" and "highways" are ambiguous and that "Additional liability may not even occur"…
It seems that the Council was more worried about legal claims against it as a result of the Act, than actually trying to make the highways and footpaths of Salford safe.
A previous Council report from 2002 states that "The City Council is obliged to clear snow and ice from carriageways and footways" but adds that it's "not an absolute duty"…
So that's alright then?
Ladies and Gentlemen. Chuck your snowballs at the Civic Centre for the winner of the TRUE GRIT IN SALFORD AWARD…
SALFORD CITY COUNCIL
If anyone from the Council would like to make a speech please fill in the Comments box below…although we don't expect anyone to be in work today at the Council, as they can't get there!