Minister meets Wandsworth gritting team
Published: Thursday 1st March 18
Government minister Rishi Sunak has met Wandsworth’s gritting team and praised them for their efforts in keeping borough streets cleared during this week’s cold weather.
Mr Sunak and Cllr Cook with members of the gritting team
Mr Sunak, who is Under-Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government visited the council depot at Frogmore today.
This houses the council’s nine gritting lorries which deal with icy roads, as well as a large staff contingent who grit busy pavements and footpaths. The depot also stores the council’s stockpile of some 3,500 tonnes of salt.
Mr Sunak watched as the lorries picked up the new stocks of salt. He said: “I know the teams have been working hard gritting virtually 24 hours a day this week and they explained that as soon as temperatures drop or there’s more snow it all has to be done again. I’m impressed by their speed and thoroughness and the efficiency of the gritting operation here in Wandsworth.”
He also spotted a pile of old street lamps that will be recycled after being replaced by new LED lamps and said he would encourage other councils to carry out similar projects. The new lamps are for more energy efficient and will save the council £11m over 25 years.
As well as the Frogmore depot, Mr Sunak also saw some of the electric car charging points installed on borough streets. Wandsworth is well ahead of the curve with installing electric vehicle infrastructure and aims to make electric motoring the norm rather than the exception – an approach praised by the minister. It is installing more than 700 charging points on lamposts, plus another 120 Source London car charging points in addition to the 99 already installed around the borough.
The minister was also interested in hearing about the support available to local businesses from the council’s Economic Development Office, including how Wandsworth is attracting millions of pounds of inward investment. He met Caryl Davies from the Wandsworth Town Business Improvement District, which enables local businesses to take an active role in improving and marketing their town.
The cabinet members for community safety, Cllr Jonathan Cook, and business, Cllr Kim Caddy, showed Mr Sunak around on his tour of the borough. Cllr Cook said: “It was good to have an opportunity to let our hard-working gritting teams know that their efforts are appreciated.
“They have nearly 230 miles of road and 450 miles of pavement to cover, so face a mammoth task this week. But we would like to assure our residents that they are doing all they can to keep Wandsworth’s streets clear.”
Find out more about the council’s gritting operation at www.wandsworth.gov.uk.snow