Agenda item

Grit Bins and Non-Priority Routes - Response to Recommendations of the Scrutiny Task and Finish Group


The Chair welcomed County Councillor Keith Iddon, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport; Phil Durnell, Head of Service Highways; and Ridwan Musa, Highways Manager, to the meeting.


In September 2018 the Internal Scrutiny Committee published a task and finish group report on a review of grit bins and non-priority routes. In accordance with agreed protocols, the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport had been asked to provide a response to the task and finish group's recommendations as detailed in the report.


Members thanked the Cabinet Member for the largely positive response and proactive stance taken.

Regarding data held on the location of grit bins in the Highways Asset Management System (HAMS), whilst the system was not perfect, much progress was being made. The committee was assured that data held on the old systems including paper copies and spreadsheets would not be lost and would match up with HAMS system.


It was highlighted that increasingly a number of new estates often did not have adopted roads and therefore no grit bins or other services were provided. It was noted that roads needed to be brought up to a certain standard before they could be adopted by the council, however  LCC was working with developers to take this forward. 


A question was raised about what the county council provided in terms of kit and equipment to recognised volunteer groups who could help fill the gaps, as it was recognised that the county council could not respond to every request. It was agreed that a pilot volunteer group would be set up in the Pendle Rural division which would also take into consideration the kit requirements.


The committee welcomed the opportunity to explore working with the Youth Offending Team and Safer Lancashire Community Payback Teams to assist with snow clearing and gritting. The legalities of implementing this were being looked at, but it was hoped that these recommendations could be implemented in time for next winter.


The Cabinet Member informed members that he would work with borough councils regarding Section 106 Agreement money in terms of engaging or diverting some of this money towards the winter service.


In reference to reviewing grit bin locations every two years it was suggested that the county council engage with Parish and Town Councils to see if this was a task they could assist with. It was agreed this proposal would be explored further. 


In terms of contracts for snow clearing for farmers and local residents, there were concerns that the tendering process was quite complex and there might be value in simplifying the process and making it user friendly. The problem was that there were legalities with the contracts and certain questions had to be asked. The county council did offer help to people completing the tender forms if needed.


Members requested a Bite Size Briefing to be arranged on winter gritting and how county councillors could help more. It was noted that there was a printed document available on the Winter Service with various telephone contacts which would be circulated to members.



Resolved: The Internal Scrutiny Committee receive the report on the responses by the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport.

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