Changes to weekend gritting on Highland Roads - are you ready for winter?
29th October 2018
The Highland Council is ready for winter and prepared to grit council roads as the council's winter maintenance programme started on 14 October 2018.
Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.
Changes to this year's winter maintenance policy include an equalisation of the gritting service at weekends. The service will now commence at 6am on both Saturday and Sunday (previously 7am on a Sunday), with the same length of network treated on both days. This will include treatment of all the Primary routes, strategic Secondary routes and difficult ‘Other’ routes as resources permit.
The council can confirm it has adequate salt stocks for the region of 45,000 tonnes for the start of the main winter season and that there are no concerns about future provision of deliveries from the council’s supplier.
The total salt usage for last winter 2017/18 was 81,000 tonnes, which was around 32% (£2.3m) of the overall cost of the service last year.
The winter fleet mobilisation programme is complete and includes vehicle servicing and calibration of salt spreading equipment. The fleet includes 105 gritters, 42 footpath tractors and over 200 staff providing winter maintenance services.
Following extreme freezing conditions on pavements last winter - this season, assurance has given by the Director of Community Services that a formal escalation procedure will be adopted when severe conditions are forecast or experienced with immediate mobilisation of all available manual staff across Community Services to assist.
This year (2018/19) the Council has made provision for the replacement of 18 vehicles in its heavy fleet; ten of which have arrived with the remainder to be delivered bu Christmas. On completion of this latest order the Council will have invested in excess of £9 million in its heavy winter fleet over the last 5 years.
Staff involved in winter services provision at area level are trained in using the Council’s weather forecasting service. The forecasts are used each year to assist local decision-making on daily and longer term winter services actions.
Chair of the Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Allan Henderson said:
"We have the supplies and resources in place to provide a winter service this year in the Highlands according to the Council’s policy. Council roads and pavements are gritted as specified within the council’s agreed winter maintenance policy with the added assurance of mobilisation of extra staff this year. Details of the council’s highland wide and local area gritting policies and maps are on the council’s website at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting.
"The Council will continue to do what it can within its resources and policy however, I would encourage communities to come forward and apply for winter resilience assistance from the Council that will provide them with salt in grit bins or heaps and other equipment to take action in their local areas that are important to them."
Within its winter roads maintenance budget of £5 million for 2018/19, the Council is ready to salt - according to its policy - the 6,744km of roads for which the Council has responsibility.
Area Winter Maintenance Plans are set by Area Committees within Council strategy and budget allocated by the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee. The Ross and Cromarty, and Caithness Winter Maintenance Plans for 2018/19 will be set at the next Area Committee meetings on 1st and 20th November respectively.
Until those dates, the existing 2017/18 Winter Maintenance Plans for each area will be in place.
For further information visit www.highland.gov.uk/gritting
At his last official function The Highland Council's retiring CEX Steve Barron has paid tribute to two members of staff for their outstanding work. During The Highland Council's Quality Awards event, held last Thursday in Inverness Town House, he took the opportunity to present a special commendation award to the Council's Project Co-ordinator for War Memorials Alf Leslie.
UNISON will start to take steps towards strike action. The local government joint trade unions - who have also run consultative ballots of their members - will be meet with CoSLA to inform them of the results of their ballots, tomorrow Friday 9th November.
A Cook at Broadford Primary School on the Isle of Skye has scooped the Highland Council's Employee of the Year 2018 Award for her commitment to promote healthy eating and for inspiring pupils to get involved from "plot to plate" Annette Burfooot, who has been at the school for 11 years, is described as a skilled and dedicated member of staff who is passionate about promoting healthy eating and regularly goes into classrooms to chat to the children about nutrition and developing healthy eating habits. She also encourages them to proactively get involved in the planning of menus for school meals making the most of fresh herbs and vegetables grown in the school garden.
Highland Council has become the first local authority in Scotland to develop a holistic strategy and action plan to reduce the consumption of single use plastics from its sites and schools, and the wider community. The strategy and action plan was approved at a meeting of the Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee today (8 November 2018).
The Council remains on track to provide much-needed affordable homes. Members of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee today (Thursday 8 November 2018) have approved the Council's Strategic Housing Investment Plan for 2019-2024 that will see a minimum of 500 units being built each year of which 70% will be for affordable rent and 30% for low cost home ownership.
The Highland Council has announced the publication of updated guidance on financial contributions required from new developments towards new infrastructure and services. The Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance now forms part of the Council's Development Plan which is used to determine planning applications in Highland.
Thousands of illicit cigarettes have been uncovered by Highland Council's Trading Standards Officers with a little help from two specially-trained, four-legged detectives. Spaniels Dixie and Daisy from Consumer Protection Dogs were enlisted by the region's Trading Standards team to detect the smell of tobacco.
Nine candidates are standing for election to fill a vacancy for the Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh Ward of The Highland Council. The by-election is being held following the resignation of Kate Stephen who was one of four Councillors representing Ward 5.
WICK and Thurso now have access to free WiFi in and around the centre of their towns thanks to a project led by the Highland Council and funded by the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal. The free WiFi, called "High-Fi", is aimed at stimulating economic growth and will increase digital inclusion across the Highlands.
The Highland Council are running a free return to teaching course for any fully or provisionally registered teacher based anywhere in the Highland Council area who is considering a return to teaching. If you have had a break from teaching, are a retired teacher or are new to the area and are keen to apply for a teaching post or join the supply register that allows you to set your availability around your lifestyle and family commitments, come along refresh your skills and gain confidence, meet a Head Teacher, Care and Learning Staff as well as new colleagues who are also returning to teaching in Highland.
[Printer Friendly Version]