York Green Party

Snow Warden Plan launched for York

25 January 2011


The City of York Council has launched a Volunteer Snow Warden initiative, which Green Cllr Andy D'Agorne had called for during the recent severe weather.

Andy D'Agorne cited the approach taken in Sheffield where over 50 volunteers have been given some basic training, a yellow jacket, snow shovel and grit. Wardens are called out by text after a heavy snowfall. They meet with council staff and help clear smaller roads. Access to the main roads that are routinely cleared by the council is made easier. Quality of life improves for all during severe weather periods, especially for the elderly and the more vulnerable. This happens at low cost to the council, and to taxpayers. Volunteers are also covered by the council's own insurance policies, so that they could not be individually sued if anyone fell on a road that had been cleared by them.

In York, residents in the Fishergate ward (represented by Green councillors Andy D'Agorne and Dave Taylor) are now being invited to put their names forward (in the latest edition of the ward newsletter) so that groups of volunteers can be identified in different parts of the city.

Cllr D'Agorne said "Council staff clear main routes for public transport and emergency services but we have now experienced prolonged cold spells where snow and ice can remain for days and weeks. People are willing to help out but need the tools and confidence to do a job safely. This plan seems to work well in Sheffield where terrain is much more difficult and I hope it will be helpful here."

Residents attending the next ward meeting on Feb 3rd at St Lawrences School, Heslington Rd will be able to find out more details.

Cllr D'Agorne was recently praised by a Maple Grove resident in a letter published in the York Press for clearing packed snow on the approach to the Millennium Bridge.

Any resident who wants to volunteer to go on the register for this scheme can contact CYC Neighbourhood Management Unit on 551841 or email michal.czekajlo@york.gov.uk

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