True Grit, Xmas driving madness and how Britain’s lethargic councils are failing the taxpayer
Residents struggled across the UK as snow piled up and councils appeared to be powerless in dealing with it.
By Pat Regan
Where are our councils when needed most?
These days most of my writing technique is orientated around the subjects of the paranormal and ufology. However, life frequently throws one into divergent realms.
Just before Xmas, Southport (in North West Britain) was severally hit by heavy snow and ice.
Residents understandably expected the local Council chiefs to have a specialist strategy in place to keep the roads safe, drivable and snow free.
Sadly the truth was in the reverse as snow piled up deeper and deeper making numerous roads impassable.
Hapless Sefton Council were clearly incapable of doing the job they were paid to do and the desperate public was left to fend for itself.
Southport Visiter reporter, John Siddle, nailed the situation well in his snappy report:
‘Council under fire over gritting chaos’
And also an online version:
‘Sefton defends Southport gritting strategy’
Mr Siddle kindly included a comment from me in the article.
“Many pensioners have been virtually left marooned by the council in the snow. Several cars have been left abandoned in the Woodvale area while last night, Liverpool Road in Ainsdale was like an ice rink, with no sign of effective gritting. Weather forecasters are threatening more ice and snow and the council seems incapable of baling the town out of the snow’s grip.”
I also mentioned the dire situation in passing to my fellow ufologist Nick Pope. Although it was a serious situation Nick made me chuckle with his amusing remark:
"Pat, Sounds like there's plenty to keep you busy! Coming soon: True Grit - One Man's War Against Local Authority Incompetence"
Being the ‘Forward writer’ for my last book, UFO: The Search for Truth, Nick understands only too well that when I get my teeth into an issue I tend to keep a firm grip.
Sadly, the basic inability to simply manage a day or two of British snow is not exclusive to Southport’s helpless Council.
Criticism of local council authorities across the UK is endemic.
Drivers and pedestrians across the country are frequently placed in a similar dilemma, subsequent to ice and snow flurries. UK taxpayers are furious, and with very good reason.
It is time the UK council authorities woke up to the fact that the residents, who pay their wages, need proper assistance in these dangerous periods of winter. Other countries tackle these weather conditions, which are considerably worse than the UK’s, so why can’t we?
UK Gritting and snow-ploughing is basically inefficient as it stands and more radical measures need implementing fast. According to the BBC, the AA motoring organisation said Christmas Eve call-outs were 40% above normal due to Christmas shopping and the festive retreat. More severe weather is also forecast.
Nevertheless, even the most adverse weather conditions have another edge.
Checkout this video link for a view of a British winter wonderland:
December in the UK is on course to be the coldest since records began in 1910, the BBC’s weather centre has advised.
Therefore the big question is - how are the UK blundering council’s going to keep drivers safe?
Pat Regan © 2010
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