Welwyn Hatfield Council 'Worst' for helping with heavy snow

WELWYN Hatfield Council s efforts to help clear roads and shopping centres during February s heavy snow have been given a frosty reaction. The borough was branded among the worst in Herts by the county council. That was the view of members of Herts County

WELWYN Hatfield Council's efforts to help clear roads and shopping centres during February's heavy snow have been given a frosty reaction.

The borough was branded among the worst in Herts by the county council.

That was the view of members of Herts County Council's winter maintenance scrutiny committee which met last week.

The committee also said that services throughout the county needed to be reviewed.


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Only four of the 10 boroughs in Hertfordshire - Broxbourne, North Herts, Stevenage and Watford - provided useful support when the county council asked for help in clearing town centres and shopping areas.

Welwyn Hatfield Council was invited to the two-day review as one of the least successful boroughs, where refuse and recycling collections were suspended for a week and key footpaths remained covered in ice.

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The council was represented by Durk Reyner, head of client environment services, who said that refuse vehicles simply could not go out in the icy conditions.

When asked why vehicles didn't collect rubbish from the main roads cleared by Hertfordshire Highways, Mr Reyner said that "everyone practically lives off the main road."

He argued that collecting small amounts of rubbish would lead to more confusion and further enquiries from the public, wanting to know why some people's refuse was being cleared and not others.

Mr Reyner said: "Suspending the lot is better."

Mr Reyner went on to explain that it was not as easy for Welwyn Hatfield Council to move staff around to help out with tasks like road sweeping, something Watford Borough Council was praised for. The was because of the council's partnership with Serco, whose workers were specifically contracted to one job and could not undertake additional labour.

A county hall spokeswoman added it was agreed communication between the county and district or borough councils needed to be better.

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