Coun­cil con­sid­ers vol­un­teer snow war­dens:

Cynon Valley - - FRONT PAGE - AN­THONY LEWIS an­thony.lewis@reach­

A COUN­CIL is ex­plor­ing the idea of hav­ing “snow war­dens” to help clear snow in hard-to-reach ar­eas.

Rhondda Cynon Taf coun­cil is con­sid­er­ing a pro­posal to al­low mem­bers of the pub­lic to be­come vol­un­tary “snow war­dens”.

The idea was raised through a no­tice of mo­tion from the Plaid Cymru group at the lat­est full coun­cil meet­ing after the lo­cal author­ity re­cently an­nounced it has put an ex­tra £386,000 into its win­ter main­te­nance bud­get this year.

It comes after the Beast from the East brought dis­rup­tion as heavy snow cov­ered large parts of the coun­try ear­lier this year.

The mo­tion, read by Coun­cil­lor Pauline Jar­man, read: “That this coun­cil, as part of its emer­gency plan­ning re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in­tro­duces a scheme of vol­un­tary snow war­dens to as­sist in snow clear­ance in the com­mu­nity dur­ing heavy snow­fall. The snow war­dens will be regis­tered with the coun­cil and be prop­erly trained and equipped to un­der­take snow clear­ance in their lo­cal­ity.”

Coun­cil­lor Shel­ley Rees-Owen, a Plaid coun­cil­lor rep­re­sent­ing Pen­tre, said: “Some ar­eas don’t re­ceive as much help as they like or need straight away.”

She said that many res­i­dents would be will­ing to do this and that there is a sim­i­lar scheme op­er­at­ing in Bris­tol.

Coun­cil leader An­drew Mor­gan said: “The prin­ci­ple sounds great but I am not quite sure how it would work.”

Cllr Mor­gan said the lo­cal author­ity has re­cently ac­quired a num­ber of grit­ters which can ac­cess smaller side streets to clear snow and said that Bris­tol’s scheme is in place be­cause the coun­cil there has cut down on grit­ting routes.

He said he would not want it voted down, but sug­gested re­fer­ring it to the pub­lic ser­vices scru­tiny com­mit­tee.

Coun­cil­lor Michael Pow­ell, a Lib­eral Demo­crat rep­re­sent­ing the Trall­wng ward, said he didn’t think any mem­bers would be against giv­ing mem­bers of the pub­lic the op­por­tu­nity to sup­port them­selves and oth­ers, but said ques­tions over how many peo­ple and what equip­ment would be used needed to be an­swered.

Coun­cil­lor Stephen Belzak, an In­de­pen­dent rep­re­sent­ing the Cil­fynydd ward, said that the re­port should maybe look at ex­treme weather events in gen­eral and not just snow.

Coun­cil­lor Jar­man, who rep­re­sents the Moun­tain Ash East ward, said: “It is im­por­tant for the coun­cil to be seen to be pro­mot­ing vol­un­teer­ing.

“It needs to get there (to scru­tiny) quickly be­cause of the sea­sonal na­ture.

“It should go to scru­tiny as soon as pos­si­ble so the ef­fects of win­ter can be catered for.”

Coun­cil­lors voted in favour of Cllr Mor­gan’s amend­ment that the mo­tion goes to the rel­e­vant scru­tiny com­mit­tee.


Mem­bers of the pub­lic could be en­rolled as vol­un­teer ‘snow war­dens’

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