Snow wardens sought in Sidmouth

VOLUNTEER snow wardens could bag their communities up to five tonnes of extra salt when freezing conditions next strike.

Devon County Council (DCC) has launched a recruitment drive to increase the number of people willing to help others in extreme winter weather, and has invited town and parish councils to sign up.

Sidmouth Town Council is set to discuss the issue of snow wardens at its next full meeting in August.

Around 30 parishes are already part of the voluntary initiative that was launched last winter.

DCC has pledged to provide up to five tonnes of salt, free of charge, to communities that sign up to the scheme.

Those who register are asked to identify an individual to act as a point of contact during the winter and to demonstrate they have arrangements in place to store and manage salt.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, DCC cabinet member for highways and transportation, and chairman of Sidmouth Town Council, said: “The scheme about giving parish councils local ownership and supporting them in providing self-help in their community.

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“It’s impossible for DCC to treat our entire network of roads and footpaths. While we can keep the main routes as clear as possible, there’s a limit to what we can achieve at a very local level. Snow wardens can provide local communities with that additional level of service.

“Whether it’s something Sidmouth can do, we’ll have to see.

“We’ve had a large uptake with smaller parishes. Each area will have to be looked at on its own merits. It’s not a case of one size fits all.”

Councils which register their interest with DCC by the end of August can expect to receive a salt delivery by October.