Council Calls For Patience During Wintry Weather
23rd December 2009
The Highland Council's Convener Councillor Sandy Park is calling for patience when it comes to clearing Highland roads and pavements.
Since the recent wintry conditions have started the Council's entire fleet of 114 road, and 54 pavement gritters and over 200 winter maintenance staff have been working flat out within the Council's gritting policy to keep roads clear.
Councillor Park said: "We have the longest road network of any Council within Scotland and as such it is simply not possible to treat every road at the same time. 14% of Scotland's roads are maintained by The Highland Council and we are responsible for 4,200 miles (6,700km) of roads. We therefore grit roads under a priority system which targets roads based on their local importance.
"Because of the severity of the weather conditions it has not been possible to get to all third or fourth priority routes and therefore some rural and housing estate roads have not been treated. First and second priority routes which are main roads and bus routes have had to be repeatedly ploughed and re-gritted. Ploughing takes much longer than simply spreading grit and we have had deeper snow than for many years, combined with temperatures so low that the salt takes longer to act.
"I would ask residents and businesses to try to help by clearing the pavements in front of their own houses or shops where this is possible and to watch out for elderly relatives, friends and neighbours and help them."
He added: "Our winter maintenance staff are doing a great job with the resources available to them. They are not immune to the poor weather conditions as we have had 14 gritting vehicles off the roads since the bad weather started but all of them have been recovered and are back in action."
Information on the Council's winter gritting policy is on the Council's website at www.highland.gov.uk under "Winter Watch". Please note that there will only be a Sunday service (Priority 1 routes only) on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Highland Councillors considered Scottish Government's proposals for changes to the management of schools at today's meeting of the Council. The Scottish Government is proposing new legislation on education, which would include a Headteachers Charter, placing even more responsibility and accountability for the running of schools on Headteachers, with other responsibilities passing to a new collaborative organisation covering Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Shetland, Orkney, Western Isles, Argyll and Bute as well as Highland.
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time. It is not intended to imply that any individual route is entirely snow and ice free and drivers must be aware that conditions can change rapidly and make their own assessment of conditions for travelling.
The Highland Council today welcomed the proposal by the Scottish Government to establish a national not-for-profit energy company and agreed to make a case for the proposed company to be based in the Highlands. The motion, put forward by Cllr Richard Laird and Cllr Iain Cockburn, sets out the belief that Highland customers do not always experience the benefits of the energy produced in our communities and therefore proposes that the Council engage with the Scottish Government to make the case for the energy company to be based in the Highlands, where much of the energy is produced, and bringing jobs and benefits to the region.
The Highland Council has agreed to set up a tourism working group to take a strategic overview and set priorities to support the success and growth of tourism in the Highlands. The Council has also agreed to identify financial support that allows EventScotland and their partners to bid for future major International events to be hosted in Highland.
The Highland Council is reassuring people in the region that since Storm Caroline and the arrival of winter weather to the region, the Council's Community Services has been deploying all of its available resources to tackle the condition of Highland Council pavements and roads. The Council's gritting fleet includes 105 gritters, 42 footpath tractors and over 200 staff providing winter maintenance services.
Budget update Council will today consider a potential budget gap of £33.5 million in the next financial year in 2018-19. It will take several days to achieve clarification of the precise settlement to The Highland Council following the Scottish Government's draft budget announcement.
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting . The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time.
With Storm Caroline hitting the Highlands yesterday, today's heavy snowfall and the forecast for a drop in temperatures over the next 48 hours, the Highland Council's crews and winter vehicles have been busy in action. The fleet includes 105 gritters, 42 footpath tractors and over the coming months 200 plus staff will be providing winter maintenance services.
Wick Campus, including Wick High School, Newtonpark Primary School and High Life Highland Leisure facilities will remain closed on Friday 8 December 2017. The closure is due to high winds during Storm Caroline today which caused some damage to part of the roof of the Wick campus gym, causing the metal flashing around a roof light to become detached.
Following the high winds forecast and experienced this week due to Storm Caroline, The Highland Council is encouraging landowners to check trees and vegetation near to public roads which may have been damaged. Roads affected by fallen trees this morning were near Beauly; Achnagarron near Invergordon and Lochaber which staff are clearing.
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