Council gritting cuts to go ahead despite concerns

Gritting cuts will go ahead – despite concerns.

Derbyshire County Council’s agreed to implement its winter weather programme at a meeting on Tuesday.

The council exceeded its budget last winter by £1 million and spent £4.5 million and is now facing budget restraints. It needs to cut its spending by £90 million over the next four years.

A public petition against the cuts gained in excess of 3,000 signatures.

Cllr Anne Western, leader of the county council’s Labour group said they carried out their own survey about the cuts.

She added: “Over 80 per cent of respondents said that the poor service from Derbyshire County Council last year badly disrupted their everyday lives and over 95 per cent said that the winter gritting budget should be a high priority.”

Changes are being made to the gritting routes proposed before the consultation and some routes will now be given higher priority.

Cllr Simon Spencer, deputy leader of the county council and cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “It’s extremely difficult to provide an effective gritting service under the system of covering all gritting routes 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“It’s also a very costly system and at a time when funds are becoming increasingly tight we needed to look at ways to grit Derbyshire’s roads more efficiently and effectively.”