Winter plan for Caithness roads confirmed
24th November 2017
The priorities by which The Highland Council will grit roads in Caithness this winter have been approved.
At the Caithness Committee meeting (Tuesday 21 November 2017) members approved a winter maintenance plan for the area which includes priority road lists and maps showing the priority gritting routes.
Across Caithness there are 135kms of primary routes, 222km of secondary routes (55%) and 49km of other routes. The average annual usage of salt for the Caithness area is around 6,000 tonnes.
Primary routes are treated first, followed by secondary routes and crews will only move on to treat other roads when the primary and secondary routes are all completed.
Over the winter in Caithness the council will operate a rota to ensure that there is always a qualified and experienced member of local staff available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take decisions on the deployment of appropriate resources to deal with the weather conditions
The council uses a professional forecast provider who provides daily and five day weather forecasts. This data is used to plan treatment for the roads; In addition real time data is obtained by staff from 30 icealert sites. These sensors provide information on the road surface temperature, surface conditions and the presence of salt.
Each year local areas put in place their own Winter Maintenance Plan to cover the operational details in order to deliver a service locally within existing budget and resources
Chair of the Area Committee, Councillor Donnie Mackay said: "We are lucky to have a hard working and dedicated team of local staff who go out in the worst of wintry conditions to provide the best service they can. There will be ten front-line gritters and four footpath tractors. The plan of routes and priorities we have agreed will be closely monitored over the coming months to make sure we can respond to extreme conditions and use all available resources to the best effect."
Details of the Caithness Area priority routes and winter services information can be viewed by visiting the council's website at: http://www.highland.gov.uk/gritting.
Caithness councillors are keen to encourage communities to "self-help" as much as possible and to be aware of people within their local community who may need assistance from neighbours in clearing snow and ice or possibly shopping or accessing health and social services during extreme weather conditions.
Community self-help is also being encouraged under the Councils ‘'Winter Resilience’’ scheme whereby communities can submit an application via their community council to carry out footway gritting operations within an agreed area. The Council will provide the community with salt/grit, bins, scrapers and reflective waistcoats. This does not replace the service provided by the Council, but allows the community to provide an enhanced level of service.
Guidance is also published on the Council web site https://www.highland.gov.uk/readyforwinter and by the Scottish Government on their “Ready Scotland” web site http://www.readyscotland.org/ (external link) urging people to be prepared for emergencies and extreme weather.
A council gritter at Dunbeath
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.
[Printer Friendly Version]