With winter upon us this year and the Council’s gritting plan already activated, additional resources have been invested to ensure the Council’s schools will also be winter ready and able to remain open.
A total of £26k has been invested in salt spreaders, hand scoops and snow shovels for every Council school* so that the janitorial team can clear a main access to each school entrance.
Additionally, a new seasonal winter maintenance team, based in Roads and Environmental Services, is now in place and can be deployed to support the clearance of paths and outdoor play and learning areas in schools when needed. Additional gritting equipment has been hired for this rapid response team who will work to clear schools from 5am when forecasts and wider roads gritting activity confirm they will be required.
Joint Council Leader Vaughan Moody said, “Huge efforts have been made this term to ensure our schools are safe environments for pupils and school based staff. With outdoor space an important element of our approach to managing Covid-19, this further investment to ensure safe access and clear outdoor space is further demonstration of our commitment to safety to our pupils and our school-based workforce.”
Joint Council Leader Andrew Polson added, “This new seasonal winter maintenance team are a welcome addition to our winter response and will ensure that our schools can remain open and be safely accessed. Unlike in previous years where remaining indoors was a preferred option when snow had fallen, ensuring our outdoor learning spaces are clear is important and will ensure schools can still make use of outdoor space, with everyone wrapped up against the elements.”
From week beginning 7 December the new seasonal winter maintenance team will be activated to clear schools when the wider gritting team is deployed. They will begin at 5am to ensure all schools are cleared ahead of the start of the school day. The winter seasonal team will support wider streetscene duties in towns and villages when not required for school clearing duties.
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