• Wednesday , 23 August 2017

Sandwell champions in action

How proud I was to be in Sandwell over the weekend and  two things in particular really cheered me up.

The first was the outstanding performance of the council’s gritting crews who did everything possible to keep Sandwell’s traffic moving after Saturday afternoon’s snowfall.

Am I biased or was it yet again noticeable that our roads were more usable than those of some of our neighbours?  I have nothing but praise for the crews. 

They treat 260+ miles of the borough’s highways network when they go out — whatever time of day or night it might be.  

We can’t possibly, of course, cover every side street and pavement – but on Saturday morning our crews spent five hours gritting estates and side streets not covered on our normal main gritting routes. 

We had lots of comments from people pleased to see our crews treating their streets. 

This year, the council also has extra equipment to clear its car parks of snow. This means we can help shoppers carry on as normal, which in turn  helps our hard-pressed traders and businesses at a time when economic conditions are difficult.

I was really pleased to see the gritters’ efforts recognised by lots of members of the public who took to Twitter and our Sandwell Facebook page to say how grateful they were. 

They were full, too, of enthusiasm for the way Sandwell’s new Snow Champions scheme swung into action at the first time of asking. 

This is the other thing that made me proud.   

Volunteers in all our towns – equipped with shovels and salt from the council – were out and about clearing paths and pavements.

I was one of them, sweeping snow from the paths outside the old folk’s houses inLondonderry Lane,Smethwick, next to where I live, and outside my own place, too.

I think it’s really great to see how ordinary people – given a helping hand by their local council – can show just what they can do for their local communities.

Community spirit might be an old-fashioned phrase – but it’s great to see it in action.

“Thank you, it’s the first time I have ever seen the gritters clearing the snow on Tower Road.”

Snow Champions Keith and Matt in Rowley Regis

“The roads were perfect after the grit had took effect on the Sunday morning well done all”

“Just seen the 11th gritter go past my house! Well done Sandwell”

“Looks like @sandwellcouncil  SnowChampions are out there doing good. Putting paid to the myth that helping out means you get sued”

“Did our street and local community centre… but didn’t just get the stuff for my own benefit, it’s all about making a difference and a better place to live”

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