Winter services meeting called

AN emergency meeting with Northumbria Police will be called to improve co-ordination with the county council on winter services.

A report to the council’s Executive Board, from a meeting to discuss what lessons had been learned during last year’s sustained snow and ice, highlighted problems with equipment.

It also recommended that the Executive addresses the ‘disparity of provision between areas of the county’.

But Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services Ian Lindley said: “It is a misuse of the term disparity. Any kind of apparent disparity can be explained by localised weather conditions and traffic conditions.”

Coun Simon Reid said that there should be a policy of targeted best use of our resources, rather than spreading them equally over the county.

And Coun Gordon Castle, one of those responsible for the report, explained that the real issue is that where equipment is used, it needs to be of at least the same standard across different areas.

Executive Member for Corporate Resources Andrew Tebbutt referred to the £5million investment programme in equipment over the next five years.

“It’s absolutely vital that some of the equipment the county inherited is brought up to standard,” he said.

Members also agreed to endorse the proposed review of grit bins and that the operation of contractors will be reviewed.