No changes to gritting please

Sir,

It was with deep concern that I heard at the Ilkeston Forum meeting last week that Derbyshire County Council seems to be proposing to make cuts to the vital services that we rely on, again!

The cuts they are proposing to their Winter Maintenance service – how the Derbyshire roads that are on the gritting network are gritted and cleared of snow in bad weather – are extremely worrying and will mean some of our major roads will no longer be gritted in advance of bad weather or freezing temperatures, which will obviously have a significantly adverse effect on the lives of local people.

Unfortunately the county council press release about the proposed gritting changes and their consultation questionnaire do not clearly reflect this to the public. They don’t actually mention they have cut the gritting budget by £1m from £3.5m to only £2.5m and as a result this will mean a reduction in the number of gritting lorries, drivers and roads gritted.

They describe a plan to ‘improve’ the gritting service by dividing up the routes into primary and secondary but, cutting through the smoke and mirrors, this means they are proposing to downgrade certain roads to receive a much poorer service than at present.

In the Ilkeston area there are key roads that they have proposed be in this secondary network and which will therefore receive poorer levels of gritting – Church Street, Nelson Street and the Shipley View Estate among them.

Secondary routes will not be gritted in advance of any freezing temperatures or snow.

Please sign the petition that has been created by a local resident. If 7,500 signatures are collected, it will force a proper debate.

The petition can be found at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/council/have_your_say/petitions/details.

Mrs E. Potter

Barlborough Road

Cotmanhay