Leeds City Council gritting plan comes under scrutiny

Calls for an inquiry have been made into the city's handling of the recent severe winter weather in Leeds.

Councillor Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) wants an investigation into the city's gritting plan after raising concerns over whether the council had the right equipment to keep roads and pavements clear of snow and ice – in particular around the homes of vulnerable and elderly people.

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The Yorkshire Evening Post has had a number of calls from residents claiming to have been trapped indoors because of the poor condition of the roads.

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Coun Campbell, spokesperson for city development, said that it was vital that the council's 1.3m budget was used as effectively as possible.

He added that looking at the successes and pitfalls of this winter's gritting strategy could prove essential in getting Leeds moving faster next time Arctic conditions arrive in West Yorkshire.

Light snow showers and freezing conditions are forecast to return to the city on Thursday with temperatures set to drop to -4c overnight, according to the Met Office. Friday is expected to see a high of -2c.

Coun Campbell said: "The crews in Leeds have done a fantastic job in

what are incredibly difficult circumstances. Residents and businesses across the city are very grateful for their ongoing hard work and commitment.

"However, we must look at how and where those staff have been asked to work. It is vital that when we have severe weather, the council is able to respond as quickly as possible to get roads and pavements clear.

"If this administration is serious about working in the best interests of Leeds, it must look at how to improve its response to severe weather – especially if, as predicted, there is more on the way. In my opinion the scrutiny board is best placed to do that."

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