Councillors at war over Hertfordshire salt supplies

A SENIOR councillor has hit back over claims by the Liberal Democrats that the public is being misled over how much salt Hertfordshire has left to grit the roads.

County councillor Stuart Pile, executive member for highways and transport, has slammed cllr Chris White, Liberal Democrat leader of the opposition at Hertfordshire County Council, for “scaremongering” over salt supplies.

Cllr Pile was responding to a claim by cllr White that the county council “did not know how to cope with holding their hands up and saying we are running short of salt in public”.

The row broke out after cllr Pile said yesterday (Tuesday) that Hertfordshire had enough salt to grit the roads for a week.

But cllr White said the claim contradicted a briefing sent to county councillors on Monday, informing them that there was only enough salt for another six gritting runs.

“It is a case of spin, spin and more spin to hide the fact they were caught out again,” cllr White said.

But Conservative cllr Pile dismissed the comments, saying: “Cllr White is the one putting the spin on to factual releases issued by the county council on a daily basis. If we were running out of salt we would let everyone know about it, and quickly.

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“Our current stocks are 1120 tonnes, with scheduled deliveries of more today. We have enough salt for the rest of this week, as we said yesterday. We have outstanding orders for more salt, and these are being fulfilled as quickly as suppliers can deliver. However, they too are under extreme pressure from across the country. We are expecting the Government to implement salt supply rationing to local authorities, and this should increase confidence in delivery of more salt to local authorities.”

He added: “So, cllr White, how about being a responsible politician for once? Stop scaremongering. Stop the blame game. This is not what people want to hear.”