30th March 2018
The current costs to the Council of this year’s severe weather are likely to be around £7 million, according to a report by officials to the Council’s Executive Committee. Much of this is the cost of winter gritting work.
Rutherglen Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Brownsaid the figure showed just how extensive the winter work by the Council was and paid tribute to the efforts put in by Council staff during the winter emergency.
“Like everyone, I hope we have seen the back of the snow and the icy weather. This was apparently the worst winter for about 10 years.
The cost to the Council of £7 million is roughly twice the money to be brought in by the 3% increase in Council tax this year – which gives an idea of the scale and cost of the work carried out by Roads and Lands Services in particular.
The Scottish Government have activated the Bellwin Scheme which means that some of the cost will be recouped from the broader shoulders of national government. The Bellwin Scheme operates when winter costs arise above a threshold.
I asked the Roads Department to review the winter gritting operation to see if any improvements could be made to its effectiveness within the budget. I gather this is being done. However, with the best will in the world, the Council can’t grit all the roads and pavements and the system is reliant on local communities and families helping out where they can. This was what happened in many cases but it can be a grim experience for elderly or disabled people stuck in their houses for a week.”