A report to the Council Executive today (Tuesday 25 October) set out the council's plans for the winter period.
West Lothian Council invest nearly £2.4 million each year to carry out winter related duties and services are as prepared as they can be. The council has 30,000 tonnes of salt available for the winter period, which is about three times the amount that is needed for a normal winter.
The council also has a significant fleet of vehicles equipped to tackle winter conditions, such as gritters, multi-purpose vehicles and mini-tractors. Once again, residents will be able to keep a virtual eye on the council's team of gritters via the gritter tracker on the council's website.
Route maps are also available on the council's website along with information on grit bins and self-help information.
The council has put in place a £1million winter resilience fund which will help provide a small dedicated team to replenish grit bins on an ongoing basis which will speed up the time taken to re-fill bins when they are empty. However, the council is reminding residents that in periods of severe weather, public grit bins can be emptied within a few hours and it is important to remember that this additional resource will not have the ability to meet that level of demand. Furthermore, the council will continue to provide 25 self-help salt pick-up points in locations across West Lothian, similar to last year. The fund may also be used to boost the council's resources should the weather be severe.
Residents are urged to purchase their own supply of salt/grit for private use in areas out with the council`s road and footway network in advance.
Jim Jack, the council's Head of Operational Services said:
"Forward planning means that West Lothian is well-prepared to tackle the impact of severe weather this winter. Other services across the council are also prepared to ensure essential services can still be delivered in the event of severe weather, which can include freezing temperatures, high winds and flooding as well as snow and ice. We have trained staff and a significant fleet of vehicles ready to be deployed when necessary. It's vitally important that all residents take the necessary and proportionate steps to ensure that they are also prepared for winter."
"We understand the frustration that severe winter weather can bring and the council will always look to assist communities where we can. As a council, we are facing huge budget pressures but we continue to invest heavily in our winter services and further investment has been set aside for our winter services this year.
"We would urge local residents and businesses to take some practical steps to prepare for winter and to look out for one another, especially vulnerable neighbours."
For all details on your local winter service from West Lothian Council, please visit: Winter Ready