Sheffield snow: Row as council removes grit bin at Littlewood Road, Gleadless, raising cutback fears
Every winter Sheffield resident Dennis Hanna goes out in the snow to help grit the streets near his home.
But now he says he faces a tougher job after Sheffield Council removed one of the grit bins that he and residents use.
The grit bin at the top of the hill of Littlewood Road was removed a couple of months ago, and not replaced. There is another bin at the bottom of the hill – but residents warn both bins are essential. Sheffield Council says it has been taken away because the road is on a ‘priority two’ gritting route.
Dennis voluntarily grits the road during the winter to ensure the people in his community remain safe. He says is very frustrated that the bin has been removed and he has received no reason why.
"About three or four years ago, they removed the grit bin at the top of the hill. I immediately contacted them and in no time it was put back.
"About two or three months ago now, the same thing happened again. I reported it on the council’s website and I got a notification to say that they got the complaint about the grit bin being missing, but I got no response.
"I tried again and again but still no response.”
Dennis also contacted his local councillor, Coun Ben Miskell, who emailed the council department several times, but also received no reply. Dennis says he will continue to complain to the council, and is determined to receive an answer about why the grit bin was removed.
"It’s a big enough task anyway, gritting,” he said. “I keep doing it for the sake of my neighbours who aren’t in a position to do it, but I can’t understand why I am being asked to carry grit 85 or 100 yards up the street to the top of the hill when there was a perfectly good grit bin there.”
The grit bins around the city are used by residents to grit roads the council does not treat.
"There is an army of volunteers like me that aren’t official – they just do it off their own bat. Loads of people use these yellow bins just to help their communities.”
Dennis fears the missing bin is down to cost-cutting by the council.
"I wonder if this is a cost-cutting exercise. I also ponder why the council are blanking me and Ben Miskell. And I wonder how many other grit bins have been removed.”
Executive member for housing, roads and waste management at Sheffield Council, Coun Paul Wood, said: "The grit bin that was located on Gleadless Road at the junction of Little Wood Road was on a priority two gritting route which receives treatment when freezing temperatures arrive.
"Grit bins are not routinely provided on priority two routes and instead located on roads that are not included in the gritting programme, to ensure that all areas across the city receive a fair and proportionate service.
"There is already a grit bin on Littlewood Road at the junction with Littlewood Drive and we would encourage residents on this street to make use of this during wintry conditions.”