Tuesday, 29 December 2009

A bit more true grit

We know how poor Darlington Council's response to the snow has been, with minimal and ineffective gritting and no snow, ice and slush clearance for five days after the first snowfall in the town centre.

Following my recent blog posts the Council's performance improved in the town centre, though most residential streets remain treacherous. Thankfully, it hasn't snowed for a few days, though more is forecast later in the week.

But maybe the fact that the Council finally pulled its finger out and cleared the town centre pavements might just have been due to Arriva threatening to stop running their bus service unless the Council did something to make the pavements safe, after a dozen passengers were injured as they alighted the buses.


james said...

And your suggestions for next time...?

Paul said...

It hasn't snowed now in maybe five days or so and yet all the pavements even near the town centre are like death traps. With this cold weather, the pavements are worse now than have been in a week. And it's been even more obvious today since no car or bus can get anywhere near the town centre car parks or bus stops respectively because of the sewer chaos.

Anonymous said...

Alan Macnab writes.....

We must do better than this.

It must be frightening for the elderly in their own homes who are effectively marooned. Has anyone checked to see if they are OK?

The footpaths on the estate I live on are very dangerous. I have two dogs and have abandoned the pavements when I take them for a walk. I walk them in the middle of the estate road which is relatively clear, but have to move into the ice field when a car comes.

I believe every ward or two wards should have a paid person to clear the footpaths in the event of heavy snow. That means delegating funding from the Council downwards to either the ward councillors or the elected body i.e. parish council to pay for this service. The money saved from scrapping the Town Crier and paying consultants would be a start.

I liked what the NHS Trust in Durham did who made a £1Million contribution towards paying for gritting which would have saved the NHS money in treatment of injuries through slipping on untreated paths and roads. Did any of this money come Darlington's way. Probably not.

That's my solution.

james said...

Thanks, for giving your suggestions, Alan.

I'm not sure that scrapping the Crier and consultants would be worthwhile. Any provider of goods or services will need top spend money on alerting the public - I get leaflets from the local supermarkets on a more regular basis.

As for consultants, while there's potential for service design and delivery by other means than paid consultants (by involving staff, service users, and the general public) - I've yet to hear of a Lib-Dem council that does without paid consultants.

My worry is that existing services may not outlast "savage" spending cuts...

Mike Barker said...


I understand the workload of the Darlington Occupational Therapy team has increased greatly over the past week as those injured on our pavements require additional assistance.

Presumably, therefore, the emergency and fracture services of the local PCT have also come under stress, with significant extra costs - probably a considerably greater drain on public resources than buying and spreading more grit and salt.

As you say, this shows the benefit of joined up thinking in County Durham which Darlington failed to benefit from.

james said...

Just realised that I had forgotten to add the following:

I wish you all the best for the new year. Take care, everyone!