Councillor Jason Zadrozny has accused Nottinghamshire County Council of ‘putting people’s lives at risk’ during the heavy snowfall over the Christmas period.
The Lib Dem leader claims the council lied about gritting the roads via the council’s social media pages - and has since been inundated with complaints from angry residents who were furious at the lack of gritters after the freak snow storm on Boxing Day.
Coun Zadrozny said: “Despite having plenty of time to prepare for this - the council have let us down again. Conditions were treacherous and this could have been avoided with better planning. Parts of Ashfield were left in complete and utter chaos. Whilst this was going on - the council were busy desperately ‘tweeting’ that all main routes were gritted. This was a lie - they weren’t. The council’s attempts to spin their way out of their lack of activity could have put lives at risk. It’s appalling, the council has let us down in our hour of need.”
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He is calling for a full investigation at the way the council handled the snow crisis.
Coun Zadrozny added: “I am now calling for a full investigation by Nottinghamshire County Council into the catastrophic way they handled their first real snow crisis of the winter. It should not and cannot happen again.”
He has encouraged residents to visit those who they may feel vulnerable in these difficult times. He said, “The snowfall will have left many people isolated, especially the elderly. Why not check that your neighbours are OK. We can’t rely on the council to do the basic job we pay them to do”.
Andrew Warrington, service director for highways, said: “Our gritting crews have been working round the clock to keep the main routes gritted across the whole of Nottinghamshire.
“So far they have gritted the main routes five times since the snow on Boxing Day evening - we are also going out again tonight (SUNDAY). The main routes - A and B roads plus the main bus routes - make up about a third of the roads in Nottinghamshire. Each time the gritters go out they travel in total the equivalent of travelling from Land’s End to John ‘o Groats so, as you can imagine, this is no mean feat.
“At times of severe weather, we have to prioritise the main routes although last night we also gritted some additional routes. Also today (SUNDAY) we have been carrying out additional gritting at places where black ice has been reported by the police.
“While we cannot grit every road in Nottinghamshire, we have worked for 36 hours solid to reach all parts of the county, but even all this effort will not stop some disruption at a time then there has been a severe weather warning for ice in place by the Met Office.”