Sandridge hires gritter

Cllr Bernard Roberts and his son Simon with the gritter

Cllr Bernard Roberts and his son Simon with the gritter - Credit: Archant

THE latest snowfall may already be a distant memory but one part of the district was on firm ground thanks to a decision to hire a small gritting machine.

Bernard Roberts and his son Simon persuaded Sandridge parish council to hire the diesel gritting machine for use on car parks, shopping centres and other communal areas in the village, Jersey Farm and Marshalswick.

The gritter was put to good use during and after last week’s spell of Arctic weather.

A well-wrapped Bernard and Simon used the gritter from 9am until 9pm on the first day of operations. Simon, who is a local Explorer Scout leader, said: “I have been helped out by fellow Scouts volunteering to make a visible difference to the parish and make getting around a bit easier for residents.”

Bernard, a parish councillor for Jersey Farm, said: “Initially there was some resistance on the parish council to allocating money for hiring the gritter. But there was enough support on the night to give the go ahead.

“Adrian Sheriff, a local farmer, has been very supportive and has allowed us to refill with salt and grit from his stockpile and provide technical advice on how to be most efficient with the salt and do the job properly.”

Parish and district councillor Geoff Churchard added: “I was originally sceptical about the value of hiring the gritter, but Bernard persuaded me and half the council to support him and I am glad that I did.

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“Last winter Bernard and his family did a good job spreading grit with shovels from a small trailer. This year they have been able to provide a more efficient service and have been working hard to keep the parish safe and ice free.”

He added: “This is ‘localism’ in operation at its best.”