St Albans council slammed for snow reaction

PUBLISHED: 15:00 26 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:50 06 May 2010

AN INACTIVE district council should have been more hands-on in dealing with the recent snow, a local councillor has argued. District councillor for the Harpenden West ward Cllr Julian Daly has attacked the council for taking a back seat during the recent

AN INACTIVE district council should have been more hands-on in dealing with the recent snow, a local councillor has argued.

District councillor for the Harpenden West ward Cllr Julian Daly has attacked the council for taking a back seat during the recent cold snap and apportioning blame for weather-related problems to Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) instead.

At a district council meeting last Wednesday (20), Cllr Daly criticised the motion put forward by portfolio holder for community engagement and support Cllr Anthony Rowlands about how "vital" it was that HCC responded effectively in the event of snow and ice.

Instead Cllr Daly, Leader of the Conservative group, called for a report on the district council's actions during the snow to be considered by an overview and scrutiny committee.

Cllr Daly, whose amendment was rejected, said that he was angered by the council's lack of responsibility and added: "The gist is that they are missing the sty in their own eye in only calling on HCC to work on its highways contingency plans. What about the contingency plans where the District Council are responsible?"

Amongst other things, Cllr Daly blamed the council for the "huge amount of time" it has taken to deal with refuse and recycling collections and criticised them for "failing" to provide shelter for the homeless.

But Cllr Rowlands said that Cllr Daly's amendment was a "smokescreen" to obscure HCC's shortcomings: "If more of our roads and pavements had been properly treated by the county council over recent weeks, residents and businesses would have been spared a great deal of misery and inconvenience."

He added: "Our motion urged County to improve radically how they respond to prolonged snow and ice. It was bizarre that the Tories voted against this plea to County as the responsible authority.

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