Agenda item


Purpose of report: Policy Development and Review


To consider the recommendations made by the Winter Maintenance Task Group and proposed changes to Surrey’s Winter Service Policy.






Peter Agent, Asset Planning Group Manager


Key points raised during the discussion:


1.    The Winter Maintenance Task Group spokesperson explained the Task Group had been in operation for three years and that the recommendations have been effective in improving Surrey’s response to severe winter weather, which had been welcomed by residents. He explained that there had been some concern within the Task Group at the decision by Cabinet, to remove the £5 million reserve for an extended severe winter. Members however had been assured by officers that if additional budget was required this could be found within the existing E&I budget.


2.    The Task Group spokesperson stated that there had been a preference that the Task Group meet earlier in the year to discuss the future winter as it would enable Local Committees to comment on recommendations, however this was not possible in 2013 due the elections.


3.    The Task Group has requested Cabinet look into replacing the salt barn at Merrow and the associated costs.


4.    The relationship between the County Council and Boroughs and Districts was discussed by the Committee, as it was agreed that it was beneficial for refuse collectors to assist in clearing snow and gritting pavements, if possible, as they are provided grit by the County Council. Additionally, Parish Councils were able to purchase and install grit bins on public highways.


5.    The Asset Planning Group Manager confirmed that there had been a strategic review and a planned route for gritters had been formed. It was felt that the current salt barns were sufficiently local to operate across the county.


6.    The Committee confirmed that residents were able to clear footpaths and would not be liable for accidents if they swept snow away. The general ‘rule’ was that as long as their actions did not make the area any more dangerous than it was before, they would not be held responsible for any incidents.




The Select Committee endorses the recommendations as set out in the report to Cabinet. That:


1.    The recommendations of the Winter Performance Task Group and the Winter Service Plan be approved by Cabinet.


a.    The 2012.13 Gritting Route Network be maintained for the 2013/14 winter season, while also incorporating minor amendments resulting from Member, resident and officer feedback and the new Surrey Priority Network (SPN).


b.    A process for the Highways Service to access additional funding in the case of a sustained severe winter event be put in place.


c.    Property Services investigate and report on the viability of repairing or replacing the salt barn at Merrow Depot and the optimum capacity to meet current operational requirements.


d.    Beare Green Depot remains available as a key resource for use during severe weather events.


e.    Communities are permitted to purchase additional grit bins at a total cost of £1,040 for a 4 year period while Parish Councils and other statutory bodies may be licensed to install grit bins on the public highway.


f.     The trial of alternative vehicles for use on hills, narrow routes and estate roads etc. is continued during the 2013/14 winter season.


g.    The Surrey Winter Service Plan 2013/14 be approved.


h.    Approval of any future amendments to the Surrey Winter Service Plan be delegated to the Cabinet Member for Transport, Highways and Environment and the Assistant Director, Highways.


2.    Cabinet provides a response to each recommendation confirming the agreed outcomes.


Actions/further information to be provided:




Committee next steps:


The Committee to continue to scrutinise the performance of the Winter Service and for the Winter Maintenance Task Group to reconvene in Spring 2014 to consider the Winter Service for 2014/15.

Supporting documents: