Petition against Sheffield grit bin cuts will continue

Ice on the road and path on Linburn Road, Woodseats. Picture: Andrew Roe
Ice on the road and path on Linburn Road, Woodseats. Picture: Andrew Roe
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A petition against the axing of grit bins in Sheffield will continue after a bid to have them reinstated lost a council vote tonight.

A petition against the axing of grit bins in Sheffield will continue after a bid to have them reinstated lost a council vote.

The city council removed 121 grit bins as part of its controversial winter review.

Weeks of wintry weather have resulted in residents across Sheffield complaining that they cannot leave their homes or get about - some because they no longer have easy access to grit.

And this week the problem was brought into focus again as pavements are still clogged with thick ice .

Last night councillors rejected a local Liberal Democrat motion to see all the grit bins reinstated, although a Labour amendment was agreed.

However a petition against the cuts set up by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will now continue and organisers hope it will get 5,000 signatures to trigger a public town hall debate.

Yesterday residents also turned up to present their concerns.

Doris Stow, of Chapeltown, said roads were ‘more suitable for Torvill and Dean to use than elderly residents’ while another woman said the council had ‘condemned us to be housebound.’

Council chiefs have stressed Sheffield has more grit bins than other cities. Removing the 121 saved £10,000.

In the motion debate, Liberal Democrat councillor Vickie Priestley said: “Sheffield is built on seven hills and it is no good comparing us to Leeds or Manchester.”

UKIP councillor Jack Clarkson said the winter review had been a ‘shambles’.

He added: “You don’t need to be an Einstein to realise that policy wasn’t going to work - you didn’t listen to people in consultation.”

Labour leaders said there had been no choice in the face of major Government cuts.

Coun Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for environment, said: “This council is not the villain - we have done our absolute best to shelter Sheffield from cuts.” She said Mr Clegg should do the ‘right thing’ and reinstate council funding.

Leader Julie Dore also said a U-turn on grit route cuts was made over public safety.