True grit of team who get city through winter chills
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