Lib Dems lacked the grit to deal with the big freeze

Lib Dem and Tory controlled Brent Council failed to deal with the wintry conditions on Brent’s roads and pavements and consequently put people’s lives in danger. The Council’s Head of Environmental Management has admitted that ‘grit stock levels were at a very critical level’ and that they were ‘treating a reduced network of priority roads’.

Meanwhile all refuse and recycling collections were suspended and did not return to normal until 18 January. In some parts of the borough residents have not had their refuse collected since Christmas Eve.

Labour has already tabled a motion for the next council meeting (25 January) calling for a report on how the Council’s response to adverse weather conditions can be improved in the future.

Council grit bins providing grit for local residents had already run out by last weekend. The photograph below shows the Labour MP for Brent South, Dawn Butler and the Deputy Leader of Brent Council’s Labour Opposition, Cllr Muhammed Butt, next to an empty grit bin in Wembley High Road last weekend.

Labour’s Environment Spokesperson, Cllr James Powney, said:

“The Lib Dems cut the budget for winter maintenance by £38,000 in 2007-08 and Brent Council now provides a paltry £281,580 for winter maintenance compared with £2.3 million on communications and over a million pounds on outside consultants to tell them how to save money! No wonder local people are afraid to go out in this weather for fear that they may fall over on Brent’s icy pavements and no wonder so many of our road surfaces are so dangerous for motorists. We live in a northern European country where snow is a meteorological fact of life and the Council should be prepared for it”.

What is now further worrying is how Brent Council will be able to cope with any further snow disruptions due to the failure of the Lib Dems to be prepared for winter weather disruptions.

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