The Public Realm team has been checking the forecast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, since the start of the Winter Service on 1 November.
Over 326 grit bins are on street and filled with salt; gritters have been serviced and the service is ready for the onset of Winter.
Our weather forecaster advises that temperatures may fall below freezing over the weekend and Public Realm is watching carefully.
Gritters are on standby in readiness for any sudden change in the weather and we have 1,500 tonnes of salt in stock.
The link below details grit bin locations; the priority network we treat; and government advice on residents gritting pavements in the “Snow Code”.
In the previous entry I posted on how the Lib Dems had made a catastrophic error in cutting the amount spent on grit to deal with winter conditions like we have experienced in the last few weeks. This decision has caused unnecessary risk to the people of Brent.
Today I spoke to a resident of Tanfield Avenue; a pregnant lady with small children who was disgusted with the Lib Dem failure to grit our roads. The photograph below shows the state of her car after she was unable stop safely due to the icy conditions on our roads. Behind the car is another vehicle which is in a similar condition.
“I work in Camden and they did not have icy roads there. They were working hard to make sure that the roads were safe.”
The resident said that she will be suing the Council.
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.