York Council open day on ice clearance as residents kept in dark over salt bin plans

Gritting LorryCity of York Council’s winter maintenance team is inviting residents to find out more about how the council tackles winter weather during a special open event at the council’s depot on James Street.

On Saturday 31 October between 10am to 12pm, visitors will get the chance to have a close-up look of the fleet of gritters, snow ploughs and salt spreaders, as well as see the salt barn which is home to over 3,000 tonnes of salt

The open day will provide residents with the opportunity to prepare for the winter months ahead, where frontline teams will be on-hand to offer winter advice.

It also falls on the first ‘dry run’ weekend of the year, where crews will be carrying out gritting test runs in York ahead of the start of the winter season.

The announcement comes at a time when residents are still waiting to here about the future of their local salt bins.

The last Labour led Council chose to scrap many of these self help bins while others have been left out all year round.

Cllr Sue Hunter on a steep footpath on Front Street where acces to a salt bin is essential for safety

Cllr Sue Hunter on a steep footpath on Front Street where acces to a salt bin is essential for safety

Many have been damaged while others are still full of rubbish.

The Liberal Democrats pledged at the recent election to improve the network of bins so an early announcement of changes was expected.

Throughout the gritting season, between November and March, crews are on-hand to work 24/7 to help keep York’s roads open. Last year, crews used 3,927 tonnes of salt over 72 separate ‘grit runs’ , travelling 43,054 km to treat 71,460km of highway.

Cllr Ian Gillies, Executive Member for Transport and Planning, said: “Our open day will enable residents to hear from the frontline team direct about how the council tackles winter weather to help to keep our roads open 24/7 over the gritting season. We encourage everyone to join us during the open event to help them prepare for the winter months ahead.”

. For more information about the winter services in York visit www.york.gov.uk/gritting .Or, follow @YorkGritter on Twitter for regular updates.

York Council must be ‘ready for winter’

Cllr Andrew Waller with one of the salt bins that he has asked to be refurbished and refilled

Cllr Andrew Waller with one of the salt bins that he has asked to be refurbished and refilled




Liberal Democrat councillors are urging Labour run City of York Council to be properly prepared for winter and not to gamble on continuing mild weather.


The warning comes amid growing concerns that York will not be able to cope with snowy and icy weather following cuts to the winter maintenance budget.


Since 2011 Labour has cut the council’s winter budget every year and last year took 30 miles of road off the priority gritting list and stopped funding two-thirds of salt bins. Whilst Liberal Democrat councillors and campaigners worked with parish councils and residents groups to save some salt bins, many were still lost.


Council budget cuts meant that despite last year’s mild weather, York still overspent its winter budget by around £100,000 leading to fears how it will cope with bad weather this year.

Now Lib Dem councillors have written to the Labour Cabinet Member responsible calling on the council to make sure it is ‘ready for winter’ and to work with local residents to identify gaps in provision.


Cllr Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Environmental Services, commented:


“Despite the recent mild weather I have spoken to many residents in recent weeks who are asking for salt bins to be replaced and roads to be put back on gritting routes as we approach winter. Residents have also raised concerns about salt bins which have been left to rot and are now without lids or full of rubbish.


“Last year the council was fortunate to have a particularly mild winter, but it must make sure it is ready for winter this year and able to cope if more seasonal weather comes in the next few months. It needs to work with local residents and community groups to identify and tackle gaps in provision. These frontline services need to be the priority rather than Labour’s vanity projects in the city-centre.


“While I am pleased to see that the snow warden service is restarting – now in its fourth season having been brought in by the previous Lib Dem administration – this team of volunteers needs proper support from the council, and officers who work hard to keep the city running need support from the top.”



Liberal Democrat councillors have sent the following letter to the Labour Cabinet Member responsible:


Updates…. Gritting, Salt bins, keeping warm, energy prices.


You can find out when the gritter is out spreading salt on the roads by following them on “twitter”. Remember though that Labour have taken a number of roads in York off the gritting schedule this year.

Salt bins going

Labour are currently removing most of the local salt bins. If the going gets icy try these

Staying upright: Sticky Feet

Sticky feet

Sticky feet

Well into my adult life I finally got round to trying out slip-on snow grips for my shoes, and these work a wonder. They are rather fiddly to put on (and I would certainly recommend erring on the order of buying a larger rather than smaller size), but once on my trainers they turned slipping and sliding into easy walking. Given the very impressive amounts of grip added by these I highly recommend them if you are wearing shoes or trainers. If you are wearing boots, however, I suspect even the largest size would struggle to fit properly over the toes. You can buy the Sticky Feet slip-on grips for ice and snow here.

 Keeping warm



Staying warm: Radflex radiator sheets As someone with three radiators against external walls, I’ve become a great fan of the Radflek reflector sheets. They are very easy to install – with little skill beyond the ability to use scissors required – and reflect heat back into your home rather than having it escape via the external wall. The ease of installation appeals to my lack of DIY skills but also makes them suitable for use in rented property – giving even short-term tenants a practical extra insulation option beyond nagging their landlord to do better. You can buy Radflek sheets from Amazon here.

Energy prices

We’ve found OVO one of the most reliable power supply companies. . Read their views  here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24728992 Contact them here

Road and path de-icing cuts – crunch meeting on 21st October.

The Council’s review committee will meet on Monday 21st October to look again at Labour Councillor Levene’s plans to cut de-icing activities.

Revised gritting proposals click to see larger map

Revised gritting proposals click to see larger map

He decided last week to scrap most salt bins in the City and remove many roads from the routine gritting schedules.

This is a major issue which potentially affects the safety of all York residents.

The meeting will take place at West Offices starting at 5:00pm

A copy of the agenda and supporting papers can be found by clicking here

Damaged salt bin Cornlands Road

Damaged salt bin Cornlands Road

Residents may also attend and speak at the meeting. To do so you must register to speak before the meeting by contacting Jill Pickering on York 552061 (E-mail : jill.pickering@york.gov.uk)

The deadline for registering is 5.00pm on Friday 18 October 2013.

The telephone numbers and Email addresses of the members of the committee are reproduced below. Residents can contact them to make representations

Councillor John Galvin Chair (Conservative) 01904 704829 Email: cllr.jgalvin@york.gov.uk

Councillor Sandy Fraser (Labour) 01904 651443 Email: cllr.sfraser@york.gov.uk

Councillor David Horton (Labour) 01904 777274 Email: cllr.dhorton@york.gov.uk

Councillor Lynn Jeffries (LibDem) 01904 551088 Email: cllr.ljeffries@york.gov.uk

Councillor Ken King (Labour) 01904 783024 Email: cllr.kking@york.gov.uk

Councillor Neil McIlveen (Labour) 01904 623062 Email: cllr.nmcilveen@york.gov.uk

Councillor Ruth Potter (Labour) Phone: 01904 438634. Mobile: 07947 539725 Email: cllr.rpotter@york.gov.uk

Councillor Carol Runciman (LibDem) 01904 764356 Email: cllr.crunciman@york.gov.uk

Councillor Chris Steward (Conservative) 01904 638810 Bus. email: cllr.csteward@york.gov.uk

Salt bin removal and new gritting routes – Council forced to extend consultation period

City of York Council has been forced to extend its “on line only” winter maintenance consultation for a further two weeks. It will now close on Sunday 15 September.

The Council was heavily criticised for holding the consultation during the main school holidays.

click to access larger interactive map

click to access larger interactive map

This was compounded a few days ago when the maps of the new gritting routes were unavailable on the Council’s web site.

In some areas it is proposed to remove around 80% of the salt bins from local streets.

Abandoned salt bin

Abandoned salt bin

Several major bus routes will no longer be routinely salted (e.g. Bellhouse way, Acomb Wood Drive, Ryecroft Avenue plus dozens of other streets)

However the survey questions are heavily “loaded” with little opportunity for residents to tell the Council to look elsewhere for economies.

Residents are being advised to write in “safety comes first, no cuts to de-icing services”

The survey can be found by clicking here

Alternatively the Council now says that residents can visit their “reception at West offices, Station Rise, York where the maps will be available on display boards with facilities available for you to complete the survey from Monday 2nd September.

Those groups who cannot meet this timescale can send their comments to Stephen Moulds by 30 September 2013 and we will endeavour to consider those comments when making a final decision on 9th October 2013”.