Deputy leader praises gritting staff

Thurrock Council was working around the clock during last week’s heavy snow and ice.

Between Tuesday and Sunday council staff carried out 22 gritting runs of the main routes totalling 5,500 miles and using 1,200 tonnes of salt — secondary routes were covered six times.

Thurrock has five new gritting lorries with staff working 12-hour shifts to ensure 24-hour coverage during the worst of the weather. In addition 150 staff — from street cleansing, grounds maintenance and waste collection — with help from the Community payback team cleared snow and ice from town centres and other pedestrian areas.

Staff also had to guard the council’s salt stocks as numerous efforts of theft occurred, including an attempt to steal the digger.

Cllr Val Morris-Cook, the portfolio holder for Environment, said: “We learned a lot from the heavy snowfalls earlier this year and were able to respond more quickly and more effectively with around 40 more staff on snow clearance.

“Town centres, sheltered housing complexes and other sensitive sites were cleared every day to remove newly fallen snow and schools were done on Sunday so they could reopen on Monday.

“It’s worth remembering that our gritters carried snow ploughs for the first time in a long while because the snow was drifting so badly and that’s really unusual here.

“It might have been the heaviest snowfall in Thurrock since 1981, but the main routes were always passable, although only with great care at times.”

She added: “We also helped the Royal Opera House by providing sand for the site and by clearing the pavements on London road on Sunday so their first night would be able to go ahead.

“All round it was a good performance. It was impossible to do the waste and recycling routes, but the crews were redeployed quickly. Even now, it is impossible for the large waste lorries to get down some of the smaller roads in the borough, but we will be doing our best to catch up where we miss out.

“I know there are still lessons to be learned — there always are — and we welcome positive feedback, but I am fed up with the negative whinging I hear and read.

“Finally, I would like to say thanks to everyone who rallied round — you did a great job!”

3 Responses to "Deputy leader praises gritting staff"

  1. confused   December 8, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Praise indeed, well as I have some knowledge of winter programmes on average gritting runs take 11/2 to 2 hours to complete, say an hour to prepare and 1/2 hour to clean down, that in my eyes is only 4 hours of any 12 hour shift these guys are working, well then you look around the side streets / secondary routes, shopping areas and footways, many of these even now still have a good covering of ice, last year I remember Deveron Gardens in South Ockendon was highlighted as an area where old folks live and many walk the streets daily as part of their routine, this footway is especially bad and still iced over.

    Can I suggest before the people in high places who drive from A-B and probably don’t go on any side roads on their route need to be more aware of the reality, when people are slip sliding there way to work (yes this very morning), the shops and any other aspect of the daily routine, whilst those we depend on are putting in such a small part of the day / night in order to keep the main arteries ‘live’.

    In years gone by, apart from DLO staff, councils called on all the contractors who were involved in that area who were unable to work due to the incllement weather, to join in and clear snow and ice and grit dependant areas, shops, doctors, schools, ect, what has happened to all these workers, I can bimagine with the financial restraints, this aspect may be priced out, but to be honest a caring council would write a contract which would include for times like this and a small portion of funds set aside to get places like Thurrock on the move again, we really are still struggling 10 days after our first snow, especially as we have had no sonow for quite a few days now.

    Please get up to speed with reality.

  2. confused   December 8, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Have I hit a nerve, Deveron Gardens footways are being gritted as I write, if it is the power of the written word, then others in a similar situation should add their comments to this report, it might be that TBC need a little cajoling and direction with regard to where they grit.

  3. Grays88   December 9, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Thurrock comes to a halt!.
    The councils car park and road to council got gritted no where else! snow ploughs and everything.

    “Town centres, sheltered housing complexes and other sensitive sites were cleared every day to remove newly fallen snow and schools were done on Sunday so they could reopen on Monday.

    Sheltered housing area within the complexes were cleared not the roads for Them to walk to local shops though!
    Sensitive sites that must have been the councils car park!

    The waste collection staff did half of there normal half days! well worth the council paying taxes money! NOT!

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