I am urging Council bosses to push forward with an idea to use waste management staff on winter maintenance duties during periods of severe winter weather.   I think this proposal could help make best use of Council resources and ensure that roads are well gritted in the winter months.

Historically waste management staff have been given the option to take leave during periods of heavy snow and ice, when refuse lorries are unable to access many roads.  But consideration is now being given to redeploying waste management staff to help with gritting duties.

I am pleased to see some joined-up thinking is beginning to take place on what might be done to help deliver next year’s winter maintenance programme at maximum efficiency. 

When services are being cut across all departments, the Council must show it is making full use of staff resources.  We cannot have a situation where, in times of crisis, employees are potentially left sat twiddling their thumbs, when they could be out there making a difference to the safety of our roads.

During the last period of heavy snow, the Highways Department struggled to clear some parts of the city and as a result this left some residents unable to get out of their houses to go and get the most basic provisions.  We must seek better ways of working if we are to provide the level of service that taxpayers rightly expect, and I very much welcome this initiative.