Published: November 19, 2011
Burnham residents urged to 'tackle winter together' if snow returns

Residents in the Burnham-On-Sea area have this week been urged to 'tackle winter together' if snow and ice bring a harsh winter for a fourth successive year.

Somerset County Council says the Burnham area is better prepared than ever with more road salt this year and improved gritting routes, as we recently reported here.

However the council's Cabinet Member for Highways, Cllr Harvey Siggs, said this week that the council cannot do the entire job alone.

Cllr Siggs said: "We need to tackle winter together. I want all communities to make their mark by pulling together when ice and snow settle – whether it is clearing an elderly neighbour’s path, the pavement in front of your shop, home or office, or safely spreading salt from council grit bins over the local roads that we can’t get to."

"There is already a lot of co-operation in Somerset – now we need to draw on people power. Call it the Big Society if you want, I think it is just common sense and community spirit to make your local environment safe and hazard-free."

He added: "No one should be under any illusion that every road and pavement can be cleared by Somerset County Council, the cost would be astronomical. We would need 85 gritters costing up to £150,000 each, 250 drivers and mates for the crews, £3 million spent on salt and a total cost in the first year of £20 million. How could we justify that when children’s social services costs £30 million for a full year of vital work."

"If we are going to tackle winter together successfully we need parish councils and the public to understand what we can and can’t do. Somerset Highways has the equipment, experience and technology to keep the major roads clear, we need the parishes and public to act locally. Tackling winter together will only be effective if communities work as one, not people acting selfishly; like stealing salt from roadside bins or using it on private driveways and then wondering why the estate roads are still covered in ice and you can’t drive anywhere."

Pictured: The snowy scenes in Burnham-On-Sea last winter


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