Praise for community as vital services struggle to reach homes

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Bo’ness and Blackness councillor Ann Ritchie has taken to social media to praise the “overwhelming” level of community support at a time when council services are stretched.

She has been trying to coordinate cleanups of areas where there are older residents, so they can be taken essential supplies and other help.

Councillor Ritchie said: “The council’s resources are fully deployed keeping the main roads clear.

“This hasn’t been entirely successful due to drifting snow, and priority is being given to these communities that are, or are at risk of being, cut off.

“This allows essential traffic like emergency services, food supplies,community care services etc to get as close as possible to where they need to go.

“We are currently looking to deploy some other council staff on a voluntary basis to assist”.

She says people can help by clearing areas that will allow emergency and essential care services to complete the last part of their journey - for example to sheltered housing complexes and care homes.

She added: “It’s about clearing snow and keep clearing snow.

“Grit is pretty much ineffective in these conditions - the snow is just too deep.

Only do this work locally. Do not take a car!

“Gritters are already being hampered by abandoned vehicles”.

Earlier the council confirmed that gritters have been unable to keep priority roads clear “in many cases” - but have had help from external plant contractors supplying both labour and machinery to clear snowdrifts.

Council workers have also stepped in to help police and ambulance vehicles that had become stuck in drifting snow.

A spokesperson added: “Some drifts are now so high that our current equipment won’t shift them, so we are seeking assistance from plant contractors and local farmers”.

The following Priority 1 roads became impassable to drifts and abandoned vehicles:-

A905 Skinflats to boundary Kincardine Road between Carronshore and A88 Bellsdyke Road A905 from Airth north to the boundary B803 Falkirk to Slamannan Champney – jack knifed lorry and abandoned vehicles.

Champney to Blackness; Avonbridge to Limerigg at Black Loch; B818 Fankerton to boundary; Slamannan to boundary; B825 Standburn to Avonbridge.