Dec 22 2010 by Gordon Robertson, Airdrie & Coatbridge
NORTH Lanarkshire Council have released a statement outlining their efforts to battle the big freeze.
Councillor James Coyle has responded to residents’ complaints by detailing the efforts council employees have gone to.
The convener of the planning and transportation committee offered his “personal assurance” that every resource the council have is being used to deal with the treacherous weather.
He also thanked members of the public for doing their bit in their areas to clear footpaths and roads.
Mr Coyle said: “We have been using every resource at our disposal to deal with the winter conditions, as well as bringing in additional support. Bin lorries were used as snow clearing vehicles, for example. Almost 100 JCBs were brought in from private contractors. The grounds maintenance service provided 15 ploughs to clear snow and grit carriageways; 35 ploughs and 17 gritters for footpaths and 10 pick-up trucks to help efforts to refill the 1200 grit bins across the council area.
“Janitors and grounds maintenance teams helped 64 three-man squads hired in privately to clear snow and scatter grit by hand. And more than 12,000 tonnes of salt – almost 20,000 tonnes of mixed material – have been distributed onto our roads so far.
“As a result, schools were able to open their doors to at least some – and in many cases to all – pupils during the last week of term. Social workers got to clients, meals on wheels were delivered and the primary roads network ran more or less clear. Bin collections, which were disrupted during the first week of snow, have now returned almost to normal.
“There are around 1560 kilometres of road in North Lanarkshire. So we have to prioritise service. Our focus is on keeping primary and secondary roads moving and on supporting emergency services. During particularly severe weather, that means we can’t get into residential areas as quickly as we’d like. Residents are understandably frustrated as a result. We appreciate and share those frustrations. There’s still work to be done, but we’re getting there – we’re working in residential areas this week, and we’ll continue to do so whenever possible.
“I offer my personal assurances that every resource we have has been – and will continue to be – utilised for as long as the cold spell lasts. And finally, I’d like to thank those who have been getting out onto the streets with shovels and making a difference to their area. Their contribution is greatly appreciated.”