• Wednesday , 23 August 2017

Snow Champions – salt of the earth

Today I’m launching our Snow Champions campaign.

The idea is simple. We’re giving 2,500 snow shovels and 12 tonnes of salt to people in the community this winter.

It’s because I know that Sandwell people are the salt of the earth and if we do get snowed in this year, everyone will jump in to help each other.

During the winter it can be really difficult for some people, particularly if they elderly or disabled, to get out of the house because they are worried about falling over on snow or ice.

Be a Snow Champion!

Me with my Snow Champion shovel and salt tub

So if you could help a neighbour by clearing their paths, or if you would be happy to help clear the pavement outside your house, I want you to sign up to be a Snow Champion (details on the Sandwell website).

Now, this isn’t about cutting services. We’re spending more money this year than ever on preparing for winter.

  • We grit more than half of all of Sandwell’s roads and our gritting crews are now on 24-hour call ready to go out when it starts to get icy.
  • We’ve got 7,000 tonnes of salt in supply – 2,000 tonnes more than we used last winter, so we’re well prepared.
  • We will be giving 50 extra grit bins to community groups like traders associations and Neighbourhood Watch.
  • We will be salting 30 of our pay and display car parks to make sure that people can still get into towns and park their cars safely to use the shops.
  • And the binmen and street cleaners will also be helping out to clear the snow in our shopping centres if they can’t do their normal work.

Some people are asking about the cost of the Snow Champions scheme.

We’ve spent £23,000 on 2,500 shovels and more than 4,000 tubs of salt. That’s less than a single hip replacement costs the NHS.

So if this can save just one older person from falling and injuring themselves on a slippy path, then in my eyes, it’s worth it.

But it’s about more than that – it’s about keeping Sandwell moving if the snow comes and giving people the tools to help one another.

Please sign up if you want to get involved – I have, and I’ll be moving snow and gritting the pavements where I live in Smethwick.

Also lots of people are chatting about becoming a #SnowChampion on Twitter, you can find me there @sandwellleader

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Comments
  • Recent Events « Word on the Street November 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    […] You can see the Leader’s own blog report on this new initiative here. […]

  • Alan Humphries November 16, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    As a Labour voter in Smethwick thus Sandwell I am extremely concerned that you are embracing the “Big Society” concept being pushed by the current Government when it is the Council that should be providing this very service.

    Further, the costs comparison you use is disingenuous when you consider the cuts being faced by the NHS.

    At the moment you are making cuts to services and jobs in Sandwell by using the justification that Whitehall has told you to do so. There has no been little effective consultation with Sandwell residents as to the services they want cut, it is just done anyway.

    Proposed and actual cuts come at a time when money is wasted on rounding up horses which could have been done at a fraction of the cost and spending money on Mayoral transport when the Mayour could alternative transport such as public transport like everyone else. It has been rumoured that there has littl reduction in the expenses claimed by Councillors which is also concerning at this time of austerity.

    Leader it’s about time you started to actually do real and effective consultation with the people of Sandwell on cuts before you lose their trust. Stop hiding behind rhetoric and dogma on websites and go out and see what is happening to everyone in the whole of Sabdwell not just Smethwick.

    I for one care little as to whether or not you “clear” the streets of Smethwick as I want to see you out there with the people you claim to represent seeing their struggle because it looks like Oldbury Council House is becoming your Ivory Tower or are you just Nero fiddling while Sandwell/Rome burns?

  • Alan Humphries November 16, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    I apologise for the errors in the previous post bought about by a passionate view on this subject and this blog design not being particularly accessible to the access technology I use as a visually impaired person.

  • Kevin Cox November 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Well done brilliant idea bring the community together.But does clearing snow from outside your house go against the grain with the sue everyone brigade how would we stand on this.But well done you are being proactive.

  • darrencooper November 16, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Nothing but folk law, you can clear snow from outside your house and put salt down. If you start melting ice and snow with hot water then your asking for trouble by making things worse. Common sence is all that’s needed. Thank for your comment.

  • darrencooper November 16, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Thank for your comment and I make the following points on what you have said. I am pleased you are a Labour supporter. I had not thought of this as a big society concept as you put it, however I do see it has people helping each other in our community . And you could argue that unlike Mr Cameron we don’t talk about it we in fact get on and do it.

    I am afraid it is impossible for the council to grit all the roads and footpaths around Sandwell given that we cover already a 260 mile network. In addiction to this, from this year front line workers such as binmen who cannot collect the bins will clear snow around Sandwell, we will also clear snow from council run carparks. We have also added 50 extra grit bins for local people to use. You talk about cuts in the NHS if we can prevent just a couple of people from breaking a limb this winter it will save the NHS big money. A broken hip costs the NHS 25K.

    In terms of cuts, I can assure you that I am not hiding behide any Whitehall dogma, the fact is that our budget was cut by £31 million last year. I take your point that we need to do more, to consult with local people about where and how we make cuts, however we set out what we will try and do when we stand for election.

    You may feel rounding up dangerous horses is a waste of money, but the people of Tipton don’t, let me tell you. And let me assure you Councillors are doing and playing there part, having had allowances frozen like public sector workers have for the last 2 years, implemented by me has leader. I have also frozen the pay of senior officers and cut the Chief Excutives pay by 15K. I have also reduced the number of senior officers by 50%. All done to try and protect frontline services.

    Like you I live in Smethwick and have done all my life, if you think that I sit in the Council Hse day in day out then you are frankly very wrong, I am fully aware of the impact these cuts are having on Local people, and if you agree or not, I am doing all I can to reduce the impact of all this on local people. In May I am up for election, the good people of Smethwick will judge my record they will decide if I have got it right or not.

    In the meantime I will continue to do all I can to fight for the people of Sandwell.

  • Alan Humphries November 16, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Unfortunately, there are a number of legal implications the Council hasn’t thought of. Far from being proactive, I feel it is more a scheme to get everyone to do the Council’s job for them thus proving the service, whatever it may be, isn’t needed so we can do it for them every year.

  • salman mirza November 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    great to hear you want to do all you can to support the people of sandwell hope to see you blogging and campaigning to see a big turn out for the public sector strike on the 30th of November yours in unity salman UNISON rep

  • Robin W November 19, 2011 at 2:32 am

    Darren – the best way you can support the people of Sandwell is to give your support to the public sector strike planned for the end of November. Lets get the Toriwes on the run and show thrm we wont stand for cuts to pensions and services to pay for the crisis their friends in the caused!

  • Richard Crawford November 19, 2011 at 3:55 am

    We are introducing a new scheme called ‘Sandwell People – they know the drill’. We will be distributing dental drills on a street by street basis so that people can set up local clinics of their own, thereby saving the government millions on needless dental treatment. This will bring the community together while contributing to the war against halitosis – much needed in the Black Country….now, where did I put that expense claim form. Must get a new suit. Off to see David next week in London, ooh, I am so thrilled – (continued page 96).

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