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Free grit bags for Hyndburn residents scrapped
A SCHEME lauded as a way to keep Hyndburn moving in the snow has been scrapped. In previous years, residents have been able to call the council to get their hands on one of 4,000 free bags of grit. But that is no longer an option, the leader of Hyndburn Council, Coun Miles Parkinson confirmed. Speaking last year, Coun Parkinson said: “By providing the grit bags, we are not only helping local people get in and out of their homes, we’re also helping them get to work and keep local businesses open and help keep Hyndburn moving in the snow.” But the scheme was cancelled because fewer than half of the 4,000 bags were claimed in 2011. The council stored the bags and gave them to shop keepers and doctors’ surgeries so they could remain open during bad spells of weather last winter. Coun Parkinson said: “There was a very poor take up. They were well received in certain quarters but we had over 2,000 not requested. “Last year we gave them to sheltered housing, GP surgeries and we went around and gave them to shopkeepers. "But the problem was people did not want a grit bag until it snowed, but we could not deliver them then, it had to be delivered in November.” Coun Parkinson ruled out buying fewer bags, and said the council had altered its road sweepers so they can deal with snow. Leader of the opposition, Coun Peter Britcliffe said the scheme was hailed as innovative when it was launched under his leadership. He said: “It stopped people raiding the big yellow boxes and it reduced the number of accidents. There are a lot of elderly people in Hyndburn and even if they can afford to buy the bags they struggle to carry them. “The scheme costs around £12,000 to £15,000, which is pennies for the council. “And I’m dismayed they have stopped the scheme this year.”
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