Calls have been made for Darwen Town Council to grit ice covered pavements.
The council, which was formed in June last year, has a range of low-level powers which include repairing and maintaining public footpaths and bridleways.
Deputy leader Phil Jones said that even in the adverse weather conditions experienced recently, it would be ‘extreme’ to expect the town council to act. He said: ‘We have the power to maintain footpaths, which is different to the situation we are currently experiencing. The borough council doesn’t even have a remit to grit footpaths, so to expect the town council to do it, especially when there are shortages of grit, is extreme.’ Mr Jones continues: ‘This is a once in 50yrs type of event as well, so it wouldn’t be right to put all our energies into dealing with just this issue.’
Town and borough councillor Tony Melia however, who leads the For Darwen Party which pushed for the town council to be formed, said it should look at doing something to help. Mr Melia said: ‘I think that if the town council was able to buy the grit to make footpaths in the town safer then it should be doing that. Of course at the moment it is easier to get hold of a bar of gold than any grit and all the councils across the country are suffering. I don’t think it would be a yearly thing for us to do, but when it is excessively bad, like it is now, then there is definitely an argument for the town council to step in.’
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