Hertfordshire County Council has been accused of seeking to hide cuts to winter gritting routes from 245 affected schools.
Despite Liberal Democrat opposition the County Council decided on 12th September to remove 49km of roads from its pre snow winter gritting routes. This is affecting up to 245 schools meaning the roads those schools were on would only be gritted after prolonged snow fall and not before as they were last year. Liberal Democrat Group Leader Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst who, along with Chells County Councillor, Robin Parker, opposed that move at the Highway Panel has since found out that the schools affected have still not been told.
” Having lost the vote, I said clearly at the meeting that schools must be told as it would most likely affect them opening in the event of bad weather yet over a month and half later I have found out they have still not been told. I personably found out when I visited one school affected just before half term to be told they had no idea and were worried about the effect it would have them opening in the event of snow.”
“It then took Council officers a week to confirm to me they had not been told. The Conservatives in my view have been trying to bury bad news. Only now is the County Council considering informing the affected schools. It’s not good enough and it’s a disgraceful way to treat them and the public. Had I not dug for more details they would only have found out their roads were no longer being gritted once snow had fallen. And all this to save just £12-15K”.
The Liberal Democrats are now collecting a petition against the cuts and will be trying to get them reversed at the next meeting of the Highways Panel on 1st December.
The petition can be signed at : http://tinyurl.com/HertsSnow