Assistance to Communities as part of Council’s winter resilience campaign (07/12/12)

The Highland Council has written to all community councils to let them know that assistance will be available to any communities who wish to help clear snow and ice from local footpaths.

Following bad weather last winter a number of Community Councils approached the council to enquire about taking action in their own areas to clear snow and ice from footpaths as and when needed.

Any communities wishing to take up the offer will be provided with snow shovels and snow pushers, gloves and high-visibility vests.  Volunteers who have pre-registered through their community council will be given health and safety advice and the council will provide both public liability and personal injury insurance. The Council will also work with the community councils to agree the best location for heaps of salt for the volunteers to use on the footpaths.

The Council’s Chairman of TEC services, Councillor Graham Phillips said: “Whilst the Council operates a fleet of over 40 footpath gritting tractors, we just don’t have the resources to clear every path that is covered in snow and ice. Communities have let us know that, with our support, they would be keen to take on this task.  This is a win win situation as with volunteers working in their communities, a more extensive path network will be treated earlier that we could do ourselves.

“In order that we can get arrangements in place as soon as possible, any communities interested in this offer of assistance should let us know right away by returning the application form or contacting their local TECS office.”

The Council is responsible for 4,200 miles of roads, the longest road network of any Council within Scotland and as it is not possible to treat every road and footway at the same time, a priority system is in place which targets roads and paths based on their local importance. Details of the gritting policy are on the council’s website www.highland.gov.uk/gritting. The site also gives tips and practical advice for clearing paths and pavements.

ENDS

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