It looks like we may get our first freeze of the winter shortly so we hope that residents will check that their local salt bins are full (and free from litter).
Its also a good idea to know which local streets are routinely de-iced by the “gritting” lorry.
Easiest way to find out where your local services are is by accessing the above map which can be found at:
Click i to see where your nearest salt bin is
Then click the fourth symbol along.
This will allow you to tick a box next to “primary” and” secondary” gritting routes. The primary gritting routes include most bus routes and are salted as a precaution when weather forecasts predict icy conditions.
You can find out whether the gritters are working by “following” them on twitter @yorkgritter
Just in time for the current cold snap, we are pleased to report that the grit bin on Hillcrest Gardens has been reinstalled, two years after the previous Labour council administration ordered its removal.
This has been funded by the Dringhouses & Woodthorpe Ward Budget, which has been substantially increased by the current council administration.
We’d like to hear from residents if there are other locations where grit bins could be installed.
It shows the location of many local services including individual street lighting columns (with their I/D number and type) plus litter bins and poop scoop bins. It also shows which roads and footpaths have been adopted for maintenance purposes.
At this time of year the map can be used to locate salt bins while also displaying the route that the gritting lorries follow.
You can get daily updates on twitter from the gritting teams https://twitter.com/yorkgritter
The map indicates how many volunteer “snow wardens” there are in the area. There are nine in the Dringhouses and Woodthorpe ward
Volunteer snow wardens are residents who give up some of their time to clear snow during bad weather. There are 211 registered volunteers across York. The Council provides volunteers with:
- high-visibility vests
- snow-clearing kits
We know that some of the local salt bins have been filled with litter. If one needs attention, please e-mail Cllr Stephen Fenton at firstname.lastname@example.org
Salt bins filled with rubbish
Following our story of a few days ago, the Council has said that it is checking all salt bins.
Where necessary they are being repaired before being filled with salt.
Hopefully they will also remove the accumulated rubbish and update the salt bin map displayed on their web site.
Cllr Andrew Waller with one of the salt bins that he has asked to be refurbished and refilled
Liberal Democrat councillors are urging Labour run City of York Council to be properly prepared for winter and not to gamble on continuing mild weather.
The warning comes amid growing concerns that York will not be able to cope with snowy and icy weather following cuts to the winter maintenance budget.
Since 2011 Labour has cut the council’s winter budget every year and last year took 30 miles of road off the priority gritting list and stopped funding two-thirds of salt bins. Whilst Liberal Democrat councillors and campaigners worked with parish councils and residents groups to save some salt bins, many were still lost.
Council budget cuts meant that despite last year’s mild weather, York still overspent its winter budget by around £100,000 leading to fears how it will cope with bad weather this year.
Now Lib Dem councillors have written to the Labour Cabinet Member responsible calling on the council to make sure it is ‘ready for winter’ and to work with local residents to identify gaps in provision.
Cllr Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Environmental Services, commented:
“Despite the recent mild weather I have spoken to many residents in recent weeks who are asking for salt bins to be replaced and roads to be put back on gritting routes as we approach winter. Residents have also raised concerns about salt bins which have been left to rot and are now without lids or full of rubbish.
“Last year the council was fortunate to have a particularly mild winter, but it must make sure it is ready for winter this year and able to cope if more seasonal weather comes in the next few months. It needs to work with local residents and community groups to identify and tackle gaps in provision. These frontline services need to be the priority rather than Labour’s vanity projects in the city-centre.
“While I am pleased to see that the snow warden service is restarting – now in its fourth season having been brought in by the previous Lib Dem administration – this team of volunteers needs proper support from the council, and officers who work hard to keep the city running need support from the top.”
Liberal Democrat councillors have sent the following letter to the Labour Cabinet Member responsible:
Council salt bin location map click
A high priority for the new “balanced” York Council should be to sort out its winter maintenance programmes
The City was very fortunate last year when warm weather persisted for virtually the whole of the winter.
We would lucky if this happened for a second year.
One of the most unpopular cuts made by York’s Labour Council was the removal of many salt bins.
Salt bins filled with rubbish
Most of the bins had been provided by ward committees following a ballot of residents priorities. Local residents are often the best qualified to identify footpaths which are vulnerable to icing.
Some of the bins subsequently seemed to escape the cull. Some even still have salt in them.
However, the salt bin location map shown on the York Councils web site is inaccurate.
In other areas, some carriageways have been excluded from the gritting schedules despite the roads being on bus routes.
All in all, there is a need for a review of the system before the snow arrives.
The Council could make a start by clearing the existing salt bins of rubbish and refilling those that need it.
Ann Reid with local salt bin
A petition calling for the salt bins, that wee removed by the Council in the autumn, to be returned in time for next winter, will be considered next week.
The petition was collected by local Councillor Ann Reid and would also restore West Thorpe and Leeside to the primary gritting rota.
The number of salt bins in the ward was reduced from 35 to 28.
Although, because of the mild winter, there have been no major problems with ice reported recently, a return to more normal winter temperatures is likely to result in considerable inconvenience and hazards on some footpaths.
Under the Liberal Democrats led Council, until 2011, ward budgets were available which could be used to provide additional bins if local residents voted for them.
This scheme was scrapped when Labour took office.
The meeting takes place in The Snow Room (sic) – Ground Floor, West Offices (G035) on Thursday 20th March starting at 4:00pm. Residents wishing to speak at the meeting must register first by telephoning (01904) 552062 at least 24 hours before the meeting takes place.
The Council has admitted that only a handful of threatened salt bins have found new sponsors.
The remaining 121 bins are now set to be removed.
- 31 salt bins are being taken over by Parish Councils
- 6 are being adopted by Residents Associations
- 2 others have been sponsored by other groups
Meanwhile the last Council meeting heard that the total number of “snow wardens” in the City has increased to 208.
Their postcodes can now be viewed on a map (click here)
The spread of “snow wardens” across the City is very uneven.
City of York Council says that it is is supporting Public Health England’s Cold Weather Plan which looks at ways of reducing unnecessary deaths and illness this winter.
click to access
That’s a bit rich coming from a Council that has just decided to scrap 2/3 of the city’s self help salt bins and take around 30 miles of road off the gritting schedules.
They say that there are between 2000 and 2500 excess winter deaths each year in Yorkshire and Humber, many of which are preventable. The Cold Weather Plan aims to prevent avoidable harm to people’s health by highlighting the negative health effects cold weather can have whilst enabling people to prepare and respond appropriately.