Call for contractors to keep Peak roads clear in snow

Town and parish councils, farmers and external contractors are being urged to sign up to help Derbyshire County Council keep roads and pavements clear of snow this winter.

Last year, Derbyshire faced some of the worst winter weather on record. So this year help is needed to keep some of the county’s routes open.

Farmers and other businesses with suitable ploughing, snow blowing or gritting equipment can apply. Those who are signed-up for the role will receive a guaranteed minimum payment of £200 - even if it doesn’t snow.

Anyone interested can register for more information or download an application pack at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/winterhelp. The closing date for applications is 7 October 2011.

Some district and borough councils already grit pavements in their town centres.

But this year the county council has written to more than 200 town and parish councils asking them to get involved too.

So far more than 30 town and parish councils have signed up to help. But the county council would like to hear from more.

Parish and town councils taking part will receive:

• Up to a tonne of salt free of charge

• free training courses for up to two representatives on how to clear snow and ice from pavements safely

• a free grit bin (available on a first come first serve basis. We have funding for up to 80 grit bins in locations to be agreed with us)

• regular updates of when routes within their area have been gritted.

In return, town and parish councils will be asked to:

• tell the county council which pavements they will be gritting

• encourage local residents to help themselves by clearing the pavement next to their homes

• appoint a “Snow Warden” whose primary responsibility will be to co-ordinate activities locally and report back road conditions in their area

Town and parish councils can sign up at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/snowwardens. Closing date 7 October 2011.

*There’s still time to comment on the county council’s plans to change the way it grits Derbyshire’s roads. Visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/grittingconsultation to see how the proposed gritting routes might look in your area and register your views or pick up a questionnaire from your local library. Closing date for comments 12 October 2011.

A case study and photo of a farmer who helped clear roads in Derbyshire during the past two winters is attached to this press release.

Case study - Ryan Boam, livestock farmer, Flagg

During the past two winters, Flagg livestock farmer Ryan Boam has been out in his tractor helping to clear snow from roads in the surrounding area.

Having bought a snow plough to help keep the lane to the farm clear, he approached Derbyshire County Council and began working for the authority clearing snow from local roads.

Last year, he took a step further and bought a snow blower which was invaluable in keeping some rural routes open to help local people get out and about.

“Last year the snow and wind was quite bad. It filled in a lot of the lanes around here. But the tractors are ideally suited to this kind of work because they grip well in the snow,” said Ryan, who also drives lorries for a living.

“It’s an ideal opportunity for me in winter. I’d advise it to anyone who’s got the time and the equipment to do it. I had around eight to 10 days out on the snow plough last year and about four days on the snow blower.

“It’s a great experience and it’s a chance to earn a bit of extra money - especially if you can’t do your normal work because of the weather. You don’t earn anything being sat at home. But it’s also a good community spirited thing to do,” he added.

“You get a lot of thanks from the local villages. It’s a nice feeling at the end of the day knowing you’ve helped an old lady who couldn’t otherwise get out or you’ve helped someone get to work in the mornings. You get home and think I’ve done a good thing today.”

Anyone interested in taking part can register for more information or download an application pack at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/winterhelp. The closing date for applications is 7 October 2011.