Councillor Robin Parker

Councillor Robin Parker

Hertfordshire Highways announced today that four new salt bins were to be placed at locations in Stevenage. All of them are in Chells Division, where the local county councillor is Robin Parker. This marks a considerable success for Robin, who has campaigned for more salt bins for some years. He has now got the agreement of Hertfordshire Highways – in spite of current major budget pressures.

The new bins will be at:

  • Pankhurst Crescent (2 bins)
  • Harvey Road
  • Ross Court, Mobbsbury Way

“These are exactly the locations where I have been requesting salt bins should be placed, and I am very pleased that I have at last achieved this on behalf of local residents” said Robin Parker. “Pankhurst Crescent and Harvey Road are quite steep and dangerous in icy or snowy conditions. Ross Court is a complex for elderly persons, who are nevertheless prepared in many cases to spread some salt themselves, or with the help of relatives and friends, so that it is safer for residents to get out more safely even in winter conditions.”

“In February 2009, I received a petition from Ross Court residents asking for a salt bin. Immediately, I took up the request and tried to get one. However, Affinity Sutton, the housing association who are responsible for Ross Court, refused point blank to do anything about it. Stevenage Borough Council denied all responsibility and, at the time, no-one at Hertfordshire County Council was prepared to help. They all found reasons why it could not be done, although I kept raising the issue with all three authorities regularly.”

“Then in summer 2010, all county councillors were asked to help plan salting routes and salt bin locations in their division. I spent considerable time finding out where bins were needed – bearing in mind that I was unlikely to get more than 2 or 3 in Chells Division – and argued the case for Pankhurst Crescent to have two, Harvey Road one and yet again put forward Ross Court.”

“I note that all the other areas of Stevenage will get no extra salt bins. I wonder if their county councillors (all of whom are Conservative or Labour) bothered to request any?” queried Robin.

Robin Parker has also sought assurances that all Stevenage bins will be filled and ready for the winter period. He has been told that they are currently being filled. “I have checked a number of them in recent days in Chells and Chells Manor and some are still waiting to be filled. I do not have the resources to check all the bins in Stevenage, so if any local residents find that a bin is not yet filled, can they please report it on 0300 123 4047 or on the Highways Fault Reporting web site.

Robin concluded: “We all hope that this coming winter is not as bad as 2009/2010, but I have done my best to make sure that both Chells and all of Stevenage are as well protected as possible.”

Notes:

1. A new salt bin costs about £450 to buy and put in place. It costs about £45 for each refill. In a typical winter, each bin can be refilled up to ten times.

2. Robin Parker also requested in summer 2010 during his review of salting routes in Chells Division that some additional salting be done in there – but is still awaiting confirmation from Hertfordshire Highways about whether or not it has been agreed by officials. The budget for additional salting is extremely limited.

3. The location of all salt bins in Hertfordshire can be seen here.