True grit of team who get city through win­ter chills

Evening Times - - NEWS - By VIVIENNE NICOLL

A SMALL army of vol­un­teers is pre­par­ing to bat­tle the el­e­ments to help com­mu­ni­ties in Glas­gow this win­ter.

Each year the win­ter war­dens grab their shov­els and salt paths in their neigh­bour­hoods help­ing to keep the city mov­ing in win­try weather.

One of the vol­un­teers is youth worker Peter Divers, 35, who gives up his own time to en­sure peo­ple can reach Drum­chapel com­mu­nity cen­tre safely dur­ing times of ice and snow.

He also en­cour­ages other lo­cal peo­ple to do the same around their own homes and premises.

Dur­ing the sum­mer, Peter is out and about as a neigh­bour­hood im­prove­ment vol­un­teer car­ry­ing out lit­ter picks and co-or­di­nat­ing com­mu­nity clean ups in Drum­chapel.

He said: “A lot of dif­fer­ent age groups and peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties use the cen­tre and it is im­por­tant they can get in and out eas­ily.

“We get a big in­dus­trial bag of rock sale de­liv­ered to the cen­tre by the city coun­cil and I shovel it on to the car park and other paths when it is cold.

“I also let peo­ple know we have grit here if they want to come and get some for their own paths.”

Coun­cil­lor Jen­nifer Lay­den, the coun­cil’s spokes­woman for equal­i­ties and hu­man rights, said vol­un­teer win­ter war­dens do an amaz­ing job in their com­mu­ni­ties.

She added: “They pitch in be­cause they care about their neigh­bour­hoods and com­mu­ni­ties.

“The vol­un­teers’ work is a great ex­am­ple of how true Glaswe­gian com­mu­nity spirit can make a huge dif­fer­ence to daily life.

“Work­ing in tan­dem with the coun­cil, res­i­dents can con­trib­ute to mak­ing Glas­gow a bet­ter place to live.”

Al­most 1400 coun­cil salt bins are avail­able in neigh­bour­hoods across the city and res­i­dents are en­cour­aged to ac­cess these to grit their drives, paths and streets if snow or freez­ing tem­per­a­tures are fore­cast.

An ad­di­tional 118 large grit bags are also de­liv­ered to com­mu­ni­ties over win­ter.

Small amounts of free rock salt are also avail­able at coun­cil and park de­pots and peo­ple can take their own bags to Vic­to­ria Park, Kings Park, Spring­burn Park or Green­field Park.

De­pots at Daw­sholm, Shield­hall and Easter Queenslie re­cy­cling cen­tres, which are open Mon­day to Sun­day from 10am un­til 4pm, also sup­ply free salt.

The coun­cil closely mon­i­tors weather fore­casts for city streets when freez­ing weather con­di­tions are pre­dicted.

Pri­or­ity routes for grit­ting in­clude ma­jor bus routes, junc­tions and roads around hos­pi­tals, schools and fire sta­tions.

In the win­ter of 2014/15, grit­ting teams were out on the street 93 times grit­ting al­most 46,700 miles of roads and al­most 21,000 miles of paths. Ms Lay­den said: “Please think of vul­ner­a­ble, el­derly or in­firm neigh­bours. Do a good deed and grit their path.”

Res­i­dents work­ing to­gether for the good of the city is one of the high­lights of the new draft City Char­ter which sum­marises what res­i­dents have told the coun­cil about their vi­sion for Glas­gow. For de­tails on be­com­ing a neigh­bour­hood im­prove­ment vol­un­teer, visit www.com­mu­ni­tysafe­ty­glas­gow.org

Peter Divers of Drum­chapel com­mu­nity cen­tre gets grit­ting as a win­ter war­den Pic­ture: Kirsty An­der­son

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