Friday, 6 February 2009

” Our condition is peril...”

It seems the people we pay vast sums of taxpayers money to to run our local services are incapable of even keeping an eye on the weather forecasts:
Another cold night has depleted supplies dramatically with council and Highways Agency gritters working through the night to make roads passable.

Some councils are already facing shortages, said Paul Bettison, chairman of the Local Government Association Environment board.
Shortages caused by…?
"There is growing concern salt supplies are drying up due to rationing. For example, Hertfordshire County Council has used 4,000 tonnes of salt since Sunday but its supplier is only able to provide 160 tonnes more per day. This will cause some local authorities to focus solely on A and B roads and bus routes rather than the whole network."

Several other councils have already reported difficulties, including Wiltshire, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
So it isn’t just the councils themselves – suppliers are also finding they are running low. There must be more to this than simply local government incompetence (although, unlike salt, there’s plenty of that to go around).

And there is:
The Salt Association, the trade body representing the suppliers, blamed local councils for running down stocks once December and January had passed.

"Over the past two years, this has caught out a number of authorities when snow or ice has occurred in late spring, severely limiting their ability to maintain the highways," a spokesman said.

"The problem is compounded by the reduction in available transport and the restrictions on drivers' hours. This can mean that, even when stocks are available at the mine, it may not be possible to transport it to the customers' sites, when required."
Oh, dear. That law of unintended consequences strikes yet again. We can’t control the weather, but if we are unable to find some way to work round the restrictions on drivers’ hours when we really need to, we are doomed…

However, according to one report, this problem is compounded even more by the desire of central government to meddle to ensure that they are alright, Jack:
Hounslow Council in London last night confirmed it had been ordered to relinquish 300 tons of salt to the Highways Agency and Transport for London.

Council leader Peter Thompson told the Daily Express: “All the Government had to do was phone and ask for our help.

“Instead, this smash-and-grab on local supplies has shown how little they think about the needs and concerns of ordinary people.”
As has so much else, lately...


Dr Evil said...

Just proves my point that this bastard government hates us all.

JuliaM said...

I think they know they are on the way out, and are determined to leave a mes for their successor.