The Bickerstaffe Record

Breaking News, Cotterill on the Council

Winter of discontent?

12.21.10 | 2 Comments

I’m picking up quite a lot of anger about the Borough Council’s response to the wintry conditions, and have offered the following press statement:

Clearly the situation is moving, and we will not be leaping to conclusions about the council’s performance during this period, notwithstanding the very real sense we’re picking up that, once again, the people of West Lancashire have been failed by the authorities.  

It would be counterproductive at this stage to be demanding explanations of a council already stretched to and beyond its current capacity.  When the situation is calmer, we will be seeking a full review of the council’s response to conditions, including what lessons from last year’s winter problems were and were not acted upon, and in particular whether the council’s response through the weekend, to a situation which developed on a Friday night, was quick enough.

I’ll bring more details as I get them, but in the meantime it may be worth remembering the formal question a Labour councillor asked at the October 2010 council meeting, and the response we got:

Question:  Is the council confident that it has, in co-operation with other relevant bodies, taken all the necessary preparatory steps to avoid significant problems associated with severe wintry conditions, including but not limited to emergency planning measures and steps to ensure the gritting of roads and refilling of salt bins?”

Answer: The Leader responded that the problems arising from last year’s severe weather conditions had been exacerbated by the previous Government’s instructions to withhold supplies of grit salt.

However, he felt confident that the both the Borough and County Councils were better placed than last year to deal with any repeat of the severe conditions and reminded members that, in this respect, the Borough Council had addressed the issues arising last year and had made funds available.

So it should have been dealt with better, right?


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