gritting - Cheshire East Gritter - winter gritting

Dear Editor,
It’s now nearly two years since I ‘called in’ the CEC Labour/Independents Cabinet decision to cut winter gritting routes and six months since a decision was made somewhere in the corridors of Cheshire East Council, that despite a second consultation, confirmed the cutting of miles of the highways network from the Adverse Winter Weather gritting scheme.

This was infuriating for councillors across the borough, who worked with residents, parish councils, businesses and schools to get our carefully evaluated responses in on time, only to be told, six months later, with no quantifiable explanation, that most of our slashed rural routes remain out in the cold!

To date, the council has failed to follow its own procedures – to publish the results and reports of all consultations on the CEC website – I want to know exactly how CEC decided which routes to cut.

As part of the second consultation we were given clear evaluation criteria that we applied and which in our opinion, confirmed the need to reinstate routes onto the gritting schedule.

With no published metrics from CEC to explain their methodology, our residents understandably feel that their evidence was ignored and local knowledge devalued.

The refusal of CEC to provide specific information in relation to residents’ FOI requests, have simply consolidated these concerns and promises of a review some time next year is simply not good enough.

Consequently, Cllr Tony Dean (Knutsford) and I are raising a Notice of Motion at Council on 15th December to get this information published in the public domain.

After all, this council claims in its Corporate Plan to be “open” and to “work transparently with residents”.

In short, as winter weather starts to bite, our residents are entitled to know how and why their wider access and community safety have literally, been put on ice.”

Cllr Janet Clowes
Wybunbury Ward
Conservative Group Leader

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