As West Lothian's gritters prepare ahead of the winter period, they're set for brand-new names as part of the annual Winter Ready campaign.
School pupils in West Lothian are being encouraged to come up with names for West Lothian's fleet of gritting vehicles. The competition launched today (23 October) and runs until Monday 5 November at 5pm. School pupils should email their ideas, their own name, school and year group to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our panel of gritter experts, which includes our drivers, will whittle down the list of entries and select finalists that will go forward to the public vote - making it the council's equivalent of the 'live shows' or knock out stages.
Executive councillor for the Environment, Tom Conn, said: "Last winter, West Lothian was affected by its first ever red weather warning event. The extreme conditions affected the entire council area and were concentrated over a four-day period.
"The Beast from the East" was a reminder that severe winter weather is hugely disruptive but during that time when many people were housebound, our teams were out working to get West Lothian moving and care for those in need.
"I am sure that there will be plenty of good names put forward. However the serious message behind the competition is to recognise the work that our staff do which often goes unnoticed, and to raise awareness of how important it is for everyone to be Winter Ready.
"Thank you to all our staff who work on a 24/7 schedule over the winter period, often through the night."
The suggestion period will begins today and will run until Monday 5 November at 5pm. The names are whittled down by a judging panel including our gritter drivers.
Suggestions should be original, fun and clean. If you have a strong reason behind your name, please tell us, it may help sway the judges.
The council has launched its Winter Ready West Lothian 2018/19 campaign, to highlight the council's preparations for severe weather and encourage local residents to do the same. Local residents are now being urged to make their own preparations.
For more information on the competition and how to stay safe this winter, visit Winter Ready section of the website.
The council has:
- 30,000 tonnes of salt available for the winter period 2018/19 - three times the amount required during a 'normal' winter
- nearly 100 vehicles equipped to tackle winter conditions, such as gritters, mini-tractors and skid steers.
- 2,225 grit bins throughout the county
The council has warned that during extreme bouts of winter weather, that they can't cover all areas at all times, and is urging local people to prepare themselves, as best they can.