Was Welwyn Hatfield ready for the snow?

DANGEROUS and icy paths were a major concern for residents in the last few shopping days before Christmas.

Thursday night’s snowfall resulted in Welwyn Hatfield Council chiefs cancelling the regular refuse and recycling collections but the Wewlyn Hatfield Times was inundated with calls asking why contractors Serco were not out shovelling salt.

Resident Shirley Butler asked: “Why is it that every year pedestrians in WGC run the risk of broken bones because the borough council do not ensure ice covered pavements are gritted ?

“Today [Saturday] there was a market outside the Howard Centre, therefore more shoppers than ever, and the pavement was an ice rink.

“Two members of my family fell there in separate incidents – I wonder how many more people did?”

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Her sentiments were backed by Liberal Democrat councillor Malcolm Cowan.

He said: “I was a member of the county council scrutiny panel that looked into how all councils could improve and was told lessons had been learnt and everyone would step-up to the plate.

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‘Yet a quick walk round WGC town centre showed how little had been done, except by the shopkeepers and Howard Centre.

“The slopes and steps to the subway across Bridge Road were treacherous.

“This was the busiest shopping weekend in the year and the traders got little or no help.”

But a Welwyn Hatfield Council spokesman denied a lack of action.

He said: “On Friday, crews were sent to clear areas of snow in accordance with the snow clearance policy.

“Serco’s staff cleared snow in areas designated a priority – areas next to sheltered accommodation and Hatfield town centre. Snow fell again over the weekend and has remained on the ground.

“As of Monday, Serco were again clearing and salting the priority pathways, as well as both WGC and Hatfield town centres.”

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