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‘Danger’ over salt bin supplies for York
COUNCILLORS claim residents will face more danger from icy surfaces during bad weather this winter after failing to reverse cuts to York’s salt bin supplies.
Funding changes mean City of York Council will not automatically supply 170 of York’s 369 bins, although it will leave them in place and says they will be stocked if the weather is severe.
The Liberal Democrat group’s attempt to force a rethink by calling in the Labour-controlled authority’s decision has now been voted down.
Coun Ann Reid, its environmental services spokeswoman, said she had received confirmation the criteria for deciding which bins will not be filled was based on funding, rather than location, meaning some communities will be harder hit than others.
She said all of Foxwood’s bins and nine out of 11 in Heworth Without will be empty and questioned how judgements will be made on whether conditions are “extreme” enough to stock unfunded bins.
Labour said more than half the 170 bins had not been used for years and routinely filling them “makes no financial sense”.
“I have grave concerns about the impact of the loss of this basic service and in a bad winter this cut will have a significant and detrimental impact,” said Coun Reid. “Who will decide what is extreme weather and when bins will be filled? Will it be when snow is forecast or after it has been on the ground for several days?
‘‘Filling bins is time-consuming and the chances are that by the time it has been done, the worst will be over and falls and injuries will have taken place.”
Coun David Levene, cabinet member for environmental services, said the Lib Dems were “scaremongering” and contingency funding would be used to “replenish discretionary salt bins based on need as and when conditions dictate”.
He said a review will be held after this winter to assess where bins should be located in future.
“We will not waste money on salt where it is not going to be used,” he said.
“Where the weather requires these bins to be stocked, a decision will be taken quickly to ensure residents’ safety is given top priority, with action taken on the ground by the time sustained and heavy snowfall arrives.”