Briefing Note from KierWSP March 2019
As part of the winter services the County Council will provide grit bins at specific locations for use by the public in salting the roads and footways during icy and/or snow conditions. The salt is intended for use on the Highway only and should not be used on private drives or paths.
There is a scoring / assessment mechanism for installing or removing grit bins and in line with all Winter Services this is subject to an annual review to ensure the allocation of grit bins remains appropriate and consistent. The assessment for new grit bins takes place prior to the onset of winter between May and October each year
Being on a sharp Bend scores 2 points
· At a junction where there is an approach from a gradient, from a side road scores 2 points
· Not on the precautionary salting network scores 2 points
· On a steep gradient scores 1 point
· Nearby community facilities (Doctors, Schools etc.) scores 1 point
· Only access to a community scores 1 point
· Another bin within 150m – minus 1 point
From the above, the maximum number of points that can be scored is 9, the criteria for NCC to retain ownership and maintenance of a grit bin is set at 5 points.
Any new requests must then score 6 points or above. The scoring is confusing to members of public, parish councils and councillors as it is often interpreted as only one of the points needs to be met to have a grit bin installed. More information is being provided on the website to help clarify this for the public.
There are currently 1,513 County Council owned Grit Bins on the network and 273 Parish owned Grit bins. Parish owned Grit bins are funded, maintained and filled by the Parish Councils.
During 2018 a review of the grit bins took place which resulted in 273 grit bins being adopted by parish/town councils. 199 grit bins were completely removed from the network as they scored below the current minimum criteria score. There are no plans to re-instate these grit bins as they didn’t meet the criteria (score).
The number of grit bins per district for season 2018/19 (correct as of 06.03.19)
· Number of Grit bins in Corby District 54
· Number of Grit bins in East Northants District 217
· Number of Grit bins in Daventry District 352
· Number of Grit bins in Kettering District 196
· Number of Grit bins in Northampton District 218
· Number of Grit bins in South Northamptonshire District 310
· Number of Grit bins in Wellingborough District 166
During the recent intensive snow event in January 2019, a pragmatic view was taken to only fill grit bins when we received a request to fill a grit bin through the “Street Doctor/ fix my street” reporting system as this assisted in managing resources during the busy period. Following on from the snow event we have implemented a complete cyclic fill of all grit bins. This also includes the Grit Bins adopted by the parish / town councils. Progress on this is shown below.
Cyclic filling of grit bins commenced on 11th February 2019, the progress to date shows:-
· Number of grit bins to be checked / filled – 1,786 (includes 273 parish bins)
· Number of grit bins checked / filled by 26th March 2019 – 1,371 (includes 209 parish bins)
Ø Number of bins that were still 100% full – 508 (includes 51 parish bins)
Ø Number of bins that were still 75% full – 483 (includes 51 parish bins)
Ø Number of bins that were still 50% full – 257 (includes 61 parish bins)
Ø Number of bins that were only 25% full –76 (includes 28 parish bins)
Ø Number of bins that were empty – 47 (includes 18 parish bins)
In terms of new requests for a Grit Bin we have received 55 requests for new grit bins that will be assessed during the summer of 2019. As shown below, the number of requests received in any one year is subject to a large variation which appears to be influenced by the number of snow events during each winter.
October 2012 to September 2013 – 691 new bin requests received, 73 requests approved
October 2013 to September 2014 – 138 new bin requests received, 21 requests approved
October 2014 to September 2015 – 93 new bin requests received, 14 requests approved
October 2015 to September 2016 – 26 new bin requests received, 2 requests approved
October 2016 to September 2017 – 28 new bin requests received, 1 request approved
October 2017 to September 2018 – 264 new bin requests received, 14 requests approved