Winter strategy revealed for Midlothian

Loanhead in the snow
Loanhead in the snow

Councillors have praised plans set out to deal with any possible severe weather which could hit the county this coming winter.

The Severe Weather 2014/15 Pre-Winter Update sets out the budget and current levels of service set aside to cope with any bad weather conditions over the coming months.

Road Services has a core staff of 32 to treat the road and footpath network during adverse weather, with 27 vehicles available for the work.

A budget of £1.05 million has been identified based on the likelihood of seven days snow clearing and 130 occasions of salting roads and footpaths throughout the winter.

During last year’s milder winter the council spent £788,000, but this figure has varied in recent years with £2.8m spent during the particularly severe winter of 2010/11.

The council currently has 4,500 tonnes of salt stockpiled. Las year it used just 2,850 tones, compared to 6,500 tonnes the year before.

Speaking at last week’s council meeting, Ricky Moffat, head of commercial operations said: “I can’t predict what’s going to happen this year. We prepare well for it but it does vary from year to year. Last year it was a really mild winter.”

Councillor Russel Imrie (Lab) said: “I think Midlothian is in a good position now. We have got a pretty robust scheme. We just have to keep our fingers crossed that what’s there is enough. It’s a good policy and we should endorse it.”

Councillor Bob Constable (SNP) said: “We have a first class service here in Midlothian, therefore we should keep this on.”