Grit bins to boost hundreds of Sidmouth residents

A TRIO of new grit bins will boost hundreds of Sidmouth residents when sub-zero temperatures and snow next strike.

A TRIO of new grit bins will boost hundreds of Sidmouth residents when sub-zero temperatures and snow next strike.

Lymebourne and Arcot Park Residents Association leaders hope the news will signal the end of a near two-year ‘battle’ for a grit bin.

They said up to 1,000 people, many of whom are elderly or disabled, were ‘snowed in’ their homes when weather chaos descended on Sidmouth December.

Association chairman John Fowler, treasurer and secretary Yvonne White, and minutes secretary Chris Ruffle (all pictured) had said they felt “let down” by a county councillor who “promised” them grit bins in 2009.

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“We’ve been waiting for 18 months,” said Mr Fowler. “People were snowed in their houses. There’s a residential home here and a lot of elderly and disabled residents.

“Both ends (of Arcot Park) are extremely narrow and very steep with no footpaths.”

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Mrs Ruffle was “incensed” when she read in the Herald how snowed-in Woolbrook residents were ‘freed’ by a plough and gritter before Christmas.

“Up to 1,000 people here have been affected by no action,” she said.

“When you are fighting for something for two years and you see that, it knocks the stuffing out of you,” said Mrs White.

The target of the trio’s frustration, county Councillor Stuart Hughes, said he was happy to use cash from his locality budget to purchase three new grit boxes- at nearly �400 a pop.

He told the Herald on Tuesday that bins for Arcot and Lymebourne Parks, and another for the top of Brownlands Road, were “on order.”

He added Devon County Council (DCC) highways experts would visit the sites in search of a suitable place for the bins.

Cllr Hughes said a lack of pavements and adequate highway area to site a bin in Arcot Park could prove problematic. He said an arrangement might need to be made with the district council in order to use its land.

Mr Hughes added he’d already secured eight grit bins for sites in Sidmouth where concerns were raised.

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