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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Council U-turn over grit bin filling

OUTCRY over plans to stop filling grit bins in Ulverston car parks has led the council to rethink its decision.

ICE FEARS: How we reported the decision on December 7

South Lakeland District Council has announced it will be filling car park grit bins across the district over the coming days, following mounting pressure from local residents.

The decision to stop filling bins in some car parks, brought to light in the Evening Mail last week, was taken by council bosses some time ago in response to grit theft.

But a number of residents contacted the Evening Mail saying some of the so-called “grit thieves” were simply concerned residents trying to make safe the areas the councils had neglected to grit.

Town councillor John Clough, who had been pushing for decision to be overturned, welcomed the news.

He said: “This is excellent news – at last common sense has prevailed.” Cllr Clough added that he was pleased to see SLDC was listening to the concerns of Ulverston residents.

SLDC had previously stated it would ensure Buxton Place and Brewery Street car parks would be gritted when “weather conditions dictate it”.

However, it has now said it will begin filling the grit bins once more due to the likelihood of severe weather conditions over the coming days and calls from the public.

Peter Thornton, leader of SLDC, said: “As an authority we listen to the public and this is an issue we felt needed to be swiftly addressed. The cold weather coming in could leave us with icy conditions and the grit is useful to keep the car parks safe. We want to encourage this but would urge people to take care whilst helping out.”

But while the council said the grit should only be used on the car parks, residents have insisted certain individuals’ “enterprising” efforts should be encouraged.

In a letter to the Evening Mail, printed yesterday, Brian Gillam, of Central Drive in Ulverston, said residents were providing a valuable service and saving the council money.

He added: “In my opinion, this is not always an act of random theft but an act of desperation in trying circumstances.”

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