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.
A Corporate Parenting Board is to be established which will have a duty of care for currently around 500 ‘Looked After' children and young people in Highland. Members of the Highland Community Planning Partnership’s, Community Planning Board have this week (21 March 2018) agreed to establish a Corporate Parenting Board the purpose of which will be to: • promote the corporate parenting role of statutory agencies and awareness of the duties towards care experienced young people in Highland.
The Highland Child Protection Committee has launched a Toolkit to assist individuals, volunteers and community groups working with children and young people understand their roles and responsibilities in relation to child protection. Over 60 people providing activities for children, young people and families in a paid and voluntary capacity came along to the launch event in Inverness yesterday.
Bill Alexander, Director of Care and Learning, has announced his intention to retire from The Highland Council. Bill commenced with the Council in 2000, in a joint post with NHS Highland as Head of Children's Services.
Beware of calls from scammers pretending to be the Telephone Preference Service warns Highland Council Trading Standards. Highland Council Trading Standards wish to warn consumers not to fall for a new telephone call scam in which fraudsters pretend to be calling from the Telephone Preference Service (or TPS).
Recent outcomes of Redesign work were noted by Members at yesterday's Highland Council meeting. In the first year of the programme, 8 redesign projects were undertaken using a "Lean" approach and 36 staff have been trained as facilitators.
Motorists are being advised that The Highland Council is currently preparing to carry out resurfacing works at the following locations: • B862 Fort Augustus - Whitebridge - Torness - Dores – Inverness Road; specifically at Errogie Village (North Gateway), Errogie Village (South Gateway), and Compass Farm; and • B851 Errogie – Strathnairn – Daviot Bridge – Culloden Moor Road; specifically at Aberarder House. Advanced works notification signage will be provided at various locations from Thursday 15 March 2018.
The Highland Council has agreed a capital programme of £482m over the next 5 years. The Highland Council serves the largest geographical area in Scotland (over 30%) and has just under £2bn of assets on its balance sheet comprising, amongst other things, 203 operational schools, over 6,700km of roads and over 2,000 properties.
The Highland Council's Enforcement Officers have stepped up patrols in Caithness in a move to tackle the problem of littering, fly tipping and dog fouling. A number of fixed penalty notices have been issued recently including an £80 fine for dog fouling in the Stafford Lane and Back Bridge area of Wick, a £200 fine for fly-tipping on Ackergill Street and another £80 fine for dog fouling in Lybster.
Speaking ahead of today's Council meeting to agree the Council's Capital Programme for 2018/19 to 2022/23, Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council said:- "This programme delivers significant investment in a range of key projects across the Highlands. We are investing in schools, roads, bridges, harbours and flood prevention schemes that will benefit our communities.
Highland Council is to make a special case for extra capital investment in the road infrastructure after a winter period which has seen the Highlands battered by some 57 days of severe weather. Highland Council area is particularly subject to severe winter weather, which has a significant impact on the roads and other infrastructure.
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