Extra staff in to ensure winter gritting cover

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The county council is ensuring it has adequate cover for winter gritting following changes to drivers’ hours.

But there will be no cuts to the service or reductions in workers’ terms and conditions despite claims made by the council’s Labour group.

Andy Rutherford, head of highways and neighbourhood services, said: “There are no planned changes or reductions to the gritting programme or any reductions to the gritting operators’ terms and conditions during 2012 onwards.

“While we have the same number of drivers for this year, we have had to move from a three to four-week shift rota due to single status and changes to drivers’ hours.

“To mitigate the impact of this change we are recruiting local temporary staff, directly employed by the council, to provide additional resilience throughout the winter services period. There is no extra cost but more drivers available to support the change to the delivery patterns.

“The council is ensuring it has sufficient cover to sustain its level of resilience along with a further four new gritter vehicles and two snow blowers that we will be taking delivery of soon.

“This is well in advance of the winter service period to ensure we have even more robust resources at our disposal.”