Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Gritting machine not repaired?

Speaking to traders in the Indoor Market this afternoon, it is clear there is much anger about the deplorable state the town centre has been in for the past few days. Here are two snippets:

1. When the decision was taken to pedestrianise much of the town centre, a retailer on the Town Centre Board asked what steps would be taken to ensure that the newly pedestrianised areas, which include many steps, ramps and slopes, would be kept safe during the winter months. The Town Centre Board was assured by officers that a hit squad would be available to descend on the town centre whenever conditions required it. Clearly that hit squad no longer exists.

2. A retailer in the Indoor Market, speaking this week with a town centre Street Scene employee, was told by that employee that the reason the town centre pavements, wynds and pedestrian areas were not cleared of snow and ice for five days was that the grit-spreader, which hitches up to the back of one of the mechanised street sweepers, was broken and unable to dispense grit and salt. It seems the breakdown was reported to senior staff a couple of weeks ago, but nothing was done about getting it repaired, despite the employee insisting again later that it needed to be repaired.

I simply report what I hear. But clearly there has been no clearing of pavements - so something went badly wrong.

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