Agenda item

Questions on matters relating to the work of the Committee


The following questions were raised by Members of the Committee:


Winter Maintenance Plan

A Member thanked officers for their work during the snowy conditions the previous week and explained that a constituent within the Ward of Cheap had asked about the regularity of cleaning and gritting pavements. Following receipt of this question, the Member had consulted the website which detailed five stages of cleaning, however as the information was not clear, “Could officers clarify the different stages using the Ward of Cheap as an example?”.


The Member further queried whether officers would be conducting a review of the implementation of the Winter Maintenance plan and lessons learned and if so, “could Members be provided with the results?”.


The Assistant Cleansing Director advised that the Winter Maintenance Plan was reviewed on an annual basis and this was last carried out in October 2017. It was confirmed that there were five stages involved with ensuring the roads and pavements are sufficiently gritted and the website would be updated to ensure the information provided was clearer. It was explained that 60 tonnes of salt had been distributed prior to the snowfall and in total, 150 tonnes of salt had been put out over that week. It was added that the Cheapside Business Alliance had been requested to ask their Ambassadors to report any particular problems in their area, but none had been reported. He confirmed that the Team had gritted the Cheapside area three times a day.


In response, the Chairman asked the following questions:

·         Were some business owners prepared to grit in front of their own premises?

·         Were the stages for the highways and footways carried out simultaneously?

·         Were different staff involved with the highways and footways?


The Assistant Cleansing Director explained that the work of gritting the roads and pavement stages as previously outlined was carried out simultaneously and the usual work of Cleansing Staff and contractors had been diverted to ensure gritting had taken place. Further to this, both Open Spaces staff and staff from the City Corporation’s highways contractor Riney, had supported the operation. It was added that salt bins had been provided which people were encouraged to use.


The Chairman added that there were some walkways which had not been gritted making it difficult for vulnerable people to leave their homes and asked that the Department keep a record of such areas. The Assistant Cleansing Director explained that officers were always looking at ways to ensure as many areas as possible were gritted, particularly when it affected vulnerable people, but it was a question of resourcing, adding that the heavy snow first began to fall at 4am. However, this point would be considered in the forthcoming ‘lessons learnt’ exercise relating to the recent snow clearance.


The Committee thanked the huge efforts made by staff during that cold weather.



A Member explained that an initiative to recycle gum, known as gumdrop had featured in the press and noted that this could be of interest to the City Corporation. The Director of the Built Environment agreed to look into this.