A COUNCILLOR has hit out at North Yorkshire County Council over its winter gritting scheme.

Selby councillor Steve Shaw-Wright said areas of Selby, including Barlby, could be “practically cut off” by a lack of gritting, which he felt was the responsibilty of the county council.

His comments came after the council offered to sell empty grit bins to local authorities, but suggested each local council should buy the grit to fill them from third-party companies, rather than use the highways department’s stockpile.

The authority has recommended local authorities purchase their spreading salt from an online site, at a cost of £186 for 42 25kg bags, or £172.99 for a different type of salt, less likely to clog grit spreaders.

Coun Shaw-Wright said: “If North Yorkshire are buying tens of thousands of tonnes of grit, it should be cheaper to go to them, rather than these companies. Considering NYCC are responsible is highways, why shouldn’t we get their service?

“We had problems because they didn’t grit Charles Street or Abbots Road, which are two of the main roads for getting most of the Selby population out and about, and if they did them it would greatly help the area.

“They should behave a bit more generously to the people of Selby and stop behaving like Pontius Pilate, washing their hands of it.”

A North Yorkshire County Council spokeswoman said the authority was not reducing the service it provided.

But it was “looking at ways to get more community involvement” with parishes, “to encourage self-help schemes to complement our existing service”.

She said: “As part of this we are providing background information to parishes and communities on how they can become involved in self-help gritting and snow clearance which is in addition to the service that we provide.

“The price of grit bins has not increased and while we are prepared to provide salt at cost to those communities we are working with on self-help gritting, some communities have found they are able to access it even more cheaply elsewhere.”