Salt stocks double in bid to beat worst of winter

CUPAR;'December 2010 SNOW; 'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
CUPAR;'December 2010 SNOW; 'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

SALT supplies have been almost doubled in north east Fife in a bid to prevent some of the problems experienced last winter.

A report on the area’s revised Winter Gritting and Snow Clearing Policy was presented to councillors north east Fife area committee.

It states that Fife’s winter budget is £3.293 million, £343,000 more than last year.

Last year’s extreme weather — the worst in 50 years — cost the council £7.3 million, while the year before required £4.4 million to be spent.

Financial reserves are in place should this year’s weather cost even more than the cash already set aside to cope.

Salt levels in Fife now stand at 40,000 tonnes - 13,000 of which is stored in Cupar for use in north east Fife.

Sara Wilson, Fife Council’s roads and lighting lead officer, told councillors that a number of extra grit bins had already been distributed and builders’ bags of salt would be available on request if supplies are needed.

She said contractors would also be used to help with snow clearance and help aid self-help efforts by communities.

Cupar councillor Roger Guy asked Ms Wilson if the service could also help debunk the myth that anyone clearing their property or pavements of snow would be held liable should anyone be injured as a result.

Howe of Fife councillor Donald Lothian asked if piles of snow collected could be allocated in specific and appropriate places.

He also enquired if people needing help during bad weather could be provided with a single point of contact and was told this would be made available to the public a well as updates via social media websites, the fifedirect website, radio broadcasts and by calling Fife Council contact centre, 08451 55 00 99.

In response Ms Wilson said issues relating to specific areas would be addressed at locality meetings due to be held soon.