Council offers help for Highland communities to be winter resilient
The Highland Council is offering assistance to communities who wish to take action in their own areas to help clear snow and ice from local footpaths.
Highland Council’s Director of Community Services said: “When it snows, or we have hard overnight frosts it is quite simply not possible for Council resources to be everywhere at the same time to treat footpaths.
“We have a fleet of over 40 footpath gritting tractors which are used on priority pedestrian areas around shops, schools and hospitals, but we recognise that communities who wish to keep their local areas clear of snow and ice may be better placed to treat footpaths that are important to them in their areas.”
The Council is offering to provide communities with:
Salt, in grit bins in urban areas or in heaps in rural areas, at locations to be agreed with the community. Larger heaps can be provided where appropriate (up to 10 Tonnes) for example in a car park or village square.
Snow shovels and snow pushers, gloves and high-visibility vests.
Health and Safety Advice to volunteers.
Public liability and personal injury insurance to volunteers who have pre-registered through the community council and are working on its behalf.
In return, communities are asked to:
Nominate an individual to act as liaison person with Highland Council to manage the operation of the volunteer scheme and place requests for salt and equipment;
Compile a list of volunteers willing to help clear snow and ice from footpaths;
Identify which paths they would like to treat; and identify locations for salt storage;
Decide how many snow shovels and pushers they require; and to identify places to store the equipment provided (which may be at volunteers’ homes).
Volunteers are expected to provide their own warm clothing, suitable footwear, transport and food and drink.
William Gilfillan added: “It is important these arrangements (particularly delivery of equipment and salt) are in place before the onset of bad weather and therefore we urge communities to apply now so that we can put the necessary actions into place.”
Communities can apply by downloading the Winter Aid Application Form from the Council’s website and returning it to their local Community Services Area Office either by email or post.