DRIFFIELD Town Council is poised to launch a committy gritting scheme in a bid to combat the hazards created by snow.
Volunteers are being sought who would be willing to shovel away snow from paths and roads to make them safe for pedestrians and pensioners in icy weather.
The council’s Tidy Team already does its part by clearing snow from crucial areas around schools, doctors’ surgeries and old folks homes.
But Coun Steve Poessl called for a return of community spirit, with volunteers clearing areas on estates and residential streets.
He said: “During the bad weather, I had people coming to me and saying there is no community spirit these days.
“But I find that some of the younger blokes come out and help you if they see you out clearing paths
“It would be nice if we had the community spirit back on our estates and streets, maybe if we had two or three people who would come out when the weather was bad to do dome gritting or snow shovelling on the paths
He said: “The town council has always said the grit bins are available and full. I would suggest that if there is somewhere where there is no grit bin we could take people some grit so they have some to put in a barrow.
Coun Kevin Stack agreed: “I have been out gritting. It’s a good way of letting people see that their ward councillor is out helping. I got a lot of good feedback.”
Coun Matt Rogers suggested younger people may be worried about people slipping on cleared paths but Coun Poessl said the East Riding of Yorkshire Council had made it clear that you can clear paths and you cannot be prosecuted.
Coun Paul Rounding said it was the responsibility of ERYC to grit roads and footpaths and people paid rates for them to do that. Work carried out by the town council was supplementary.
“If you open it up to everybody it is excellent but remember this – we have only had one snowy blast and we have already used half of the grit we have.
“We have two bins – one is empty and one which has been refilled today. Imagine if we get another weekend of bad weather...we have got to be careful. We have spent our full budget on grit and we cannot get any more from the East Riding Council. We have got to be careful what we do with it. Do it the old fashioned way, clear it with a shovel.
“I want to see volunteers come forward but don’t say they can have grit here and there because we can’t - that costs money and we ain’t got the money.”
Coun Rogers agreed: “We have not got the money or grit. Once you open it up, people will be turning up with bags and barrows. What do we do, turn them away?
Clerk Claire Binnington said: “What Steve is after is a managed approach. A wheelbarrow full would go to one dedicated person in each area.”
On that basis, the council agreed by a show of hands to launch the community gritting scheme.
Anyone who is willing to help in bad weather should call at the Council office at 2 Market Walk or phone the clerk on 01377 254160.