‘He’s failed to deliver’

Featherston Avenue in Manton is still covered over in ice. (w101214-9).
Featherston Avenue in Manton is still covered over in ice. (w101214-9).

MORE heavy snow is forecast this week – but Notts County Council says it is confident the right measures are in place to tackle the disruption across Bassetlaw.

This is despite calls from Bassetlaw MP John Mann and county council Labour leader Alan Rhodes for the cabinet member responsible for gritting to step down following recent ice chaos.

They say Coun Richard Jackson has failed in his remit for Transport and Highways to provide a “clear and concise” strategy to deal with the snowfall across the district.

But Coun Jackson said all stops are being pulled out across the north of the county and that resources are in place should heavy snow return.

“It’s a real shame they want to make political capital out of extreme weather conditions,” he said.

“We have made massive improvements to our winter maintenance programme since we came to power, and I am very pleased with the work our teams have done in keeping our main priority roads open.”

He added: “We regret for anybody who has been unable to leave their homes during the snow, and we are doing everything we can to do additional gritting over A and B roads.”

But this has angered residents who say the county council has failed to learn lessons from the previous winter – making estates “lethal death traps”.

The Guardian has been inundated with calls and letters from people from Carlton to Cuckney saying they have had to navigate pavements with up to six inches of ice.

Many say bus routes were severely disrupted and that a simple walk to the shops or school was “extremely dangerous”.

Speaking at this week’s Carlton Parish Council meeting, Coun Rhodes sent he spent several hours on the phone fielding calls from angry residents saying they were effectively trapped in their own homes.

“I met with the director of Highways last week and was told that only bus routes with more than eight buses an hour were gritted, which is laughable,” he said.

“We are now told that the council is waiting for supplies from Peru. I raised the issue of snow wardens in September with Richard Jackson and never heard anything back. He has failed to deliver, in my view.”

Mr Mann said the county council has “no clue” about how bad the situation has been in Bassetlaw.

“I understand that Coun Jackson has claimed that resources have been shifted to the north of the county but clearly there is still much more that needs to done,” he said.

“The weather forecasts are saying that even more freezing weather is due to return at the weekend and it my view that Coun Jackson will have no choice but to consider his position and resign if he hasn’t got sufficient resources of grit to the schools, doctors, pensioner bungalow areas in time for this.”

Coun Jackson said the council was already working closely with a range of snow volunteers.

“We already have them in a number of areas, from farmers to private businesses and we are very grateful to everyone for their community support,” he said.