Council agrees to take on footpath gritting role

NEWTOWNABBEY Borough Council has agreed to take responsibility for gritting footpaths in Glengormley and Ballyclare town centres during periods of wintry weather.

While the thaw has now set in following the worst winter weather in 25 years, many local residents and business owners are still angry that the issue of footpath gritting wasn't sorted out months ago in order to help avoid the treacherous conditions faced by pedestrians on the borough's footpaths.

Many people, particularly older residents, were housebound for over a week, while businesses missed out on the usual pre-Christmas sales boost as shoppers stayed at home.

Council representatives met with Roads Service officials on Wednesday (December 22) to finalise plans for council employees to take on the role of clearing snow and ice from pavements during future cold snaps.

Many councils had been reluctant to take on responsibility for gritting footpaths due to fears about personal injury claims and a lack of funding from central government. However, with the indemnity and resources issues seemingly settled, most local authorities have agreed to salt footpaths in town centres.

Read the full story in this week's Times...