Thursday, 2 June 2011

Birkdale’s Simon Shaw responds to Council’s Gritting Consultation

Sefton Council has recently announced that its is carrying out the annual review of its 'Winter Service Policy' (that’s ‘Gritting’ to you and me) and is asking residents, councillors, businesses and partner organisations for their views. The deadline for responses is 21st June, and they can be submitted on-line at

Regular Birkdale Blog readers will recall that my ward colleague, Councillor Simon Shaw, has been at the forefront of efforts to get the Council to improve its gritting response.

Immediately following last year’s Christmas bank holiday break (on 29th December) Simon led a team of councillors from across Southport and Maghull to meet with senior Council officers to discuss widespread concerns over gritting and the clearance of snow.

Simon subsequently compiled a hard-hitting 16-point report which highlighted areas for improvement. This was spresented to the early January meeting of the Southport Area Committee, where it was unanimously endorsed. My earlier post on 6th January this year reported on that meeting

Simon is now officially submitting his report as a response to the current consultation.

“I hope residents will take the opportunity to submit their own suggestions. In fact, one of the recommendations in my January report, that the Council should urgently consider purchasing more snow-plough attachments, has already been approved,” comments Simon.

Simon’s key findings and recommendations include:

• “In terms of the response to priority pavement locations (e.g. Chapel Street and Lord Street, Southport) the Council failed to act as it should have done, and as the public and local businesses have a right to expect.” (section 1)

• The report suggests that “Extensive snow ploughing on gritting routes within residential areas in the first 24 hours would likely have resulted in much improved road conditions.” (section 3)

• The report says that “a thorough review of gritting routes would be required. This is because most roads on the gritting routes are traversed in one direction only (with grit being distributed onto both sides of the carriageway at the same time). In order to properly snow plough a road, it is necessary to traverse it in both directions.” (section 4)

• “The Council must improve its Emergency Incident procedures. This is particularly the case where very severe weather conditions occur (as here) at the start of a weekend.” (section 6)

• Improved snow ploughing on the A565 (Formby bypass) and A59 (Maghull) dual carriageways is called for, particularly at roundabouts and in the approaches to them. (section 10)

Simon’s full 16-point report can be seen here:

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