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They had to grit their own road - so sent the bill to the council
14 January 2010
A group of residents living in a Skelmersdale street have been forced to grit the road themselves so they could drive to work and get to the shops - and they are sending the £146.88 bill to Lancashire County Council.

Thornbury, which is on a hill, is not gritted by Lancashire County Council and the two grit bins on the road have been empty for weeks, so the residents decided to club together and pay for the grit from Rosbotham's in Skelmersdale themselves.

Joe Walker, 66, who lives in Thornbury, said: "No-one was able to drive to work and no-one could drive to the shops because the road was treacherous. So we decided to take the situation into our own hands. We picked up a ton of grit from Rosbotham's and then gritted the road. 

"We put the grit on driveways to make them accessible for people to get out. We also put grit on two lanes in the road. It has made a hell of a difference.

"Fifteen houses paid £10 each to make up the bill, but I am going to send a copy of the bill to Lancashire County Council and ask them to reimburse us.

"I can't believe the county council said that refilling grit bins was not a 'priority.' We pay Council Tax and this should finance the county council to refill the grit bins. Why should we be out of pocket after buying grit?"

County councillor Keith Young, cabinet member for highways and transport, responded: "Unfortunately our policy of only gritting the primary roads for the last three weeks must continue due to the national shortage of salt now admitted by the government and which reflects the reality here in Lancashire. We are confident that we can continue to keep Lancashire moving for the foreseeable future.

"However, we have announced the intention to purchase alternative none-salt materials which could help to give our operational managers more flexibility to deal in particular with serious town centre problems.

"We have no policy for identifying and reimbursing people who buy their own grit or clear pathways at their own expense. Therefore, we will be unable to reimburse the residents of Thornbury."

PIC shows: Joe Walker (holding invoice) and other Thornbury residents who gritted their own road


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