Friday, 7 January 2011

Press reports on Council's response to snow

The Southport Visiter reports today on the Area Committee meeting which reviewed the Council's response to the snow.

Joe Thomas reported:

SEFTON Council was slammed after it emerged its emergency planning squad waited 72 hours before attempting to deal with the heavy snow.......

As the inquest into the gritting saga continued at Wednesday night’s area committee meeting, planning chiefs once again admitted they had failed to deal with the crisis.

After chief executive Margaret Carney apologised for the shortcomings of the response, councillors offered their own opinions on the matter.

Cllr Iain Brodie-Browne said: “The problem was the lack of imagination – we stuck with the policy even though it was inadequate – the problem was still there 10 days later.

“There is no point in having a plan – it’s bureaucratic conceit to think you can cover such extreme weather with the plan.

“You need imagination and communication.”

Cllr Brodie-Browne questioned the decision not to arrange an emergency meeting until the Monday when it was clear the snow was causing problems days before.

He was also disappointed with the ‘lack of Blitz spirit’ shown.

He said: “I’m at a loss to understand why the council wasn’t asking for people to turn up to Chapel Street on Saturday morning. We could have dumped grit for shopkeepers to spread.

“Coastal rangers with their off-road vehicles could have been called, or we could have used farmers – and it would have been worth paying them.

“If the snow was going to stay there longer than the plan then we needed to rip it up and start again.”

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