Snow plough v2

Dear All

Following on from Tim’s post about the snow plough idea, the Community Council would just like to clarify that the idea was only turned down after lengthy debate on the grounds that: 1) Crystal Rig had indicated in writing that it would not support it as it was work ‘the Council should do’. 2) There were widely held concerns about issues of liability, health and safety etc; 3) It was felt that as the problem was sporadic and relatively infrequent, community funding of the levels needed would be best spent elsewhere.

That said, everyone agreed that the problem was something that should be addressed, so it was felt that – as Tim explained – we would do the following: 1) Scope out the extent of the problem; 2) Work out what cost-effective equipment is needed (eg. grit bins, shovels, etc); 3) Get together a group of volunteers to help dig out those in need when the
time comes; 4) Work to ensure that the Council upholds its statutory duties so that main roads (and as many side roads as possible) are kept clear.

Rufus has said that he is happy to move this forward, but would like help (Indeed, if anyone would like to take on the co-ordination of a group to tackle this, that would be great). Anyone who is interested in lending a hand both in terms of collecting information and/or wielding a shovel please use the contact form below.


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    One thought on “Snow plough v2

    1. Tim Flinn

      Snow ploughs: further comment on the GMCC discussion.

      1. Various quite valid problems (amongst some quite extraordinary ones that I will not embarrass anyone by repeating here) were raised by GMCC members regarding insurance, public safety, operator competence, machine care and so on. However, as none of these issues had been formally addressed to me earlier I had no immediate or adequate answers at the meeting. That being the case the proper course would have been to delay a yea or nay until satisfactory answers had been found. That satisfactory answers must and do exist is certain. Many such machines are in use already by various groups (or so the manufacturers assure me).
      2. The machine is expensive, but is a one-off investment that will benefit the community for many years. Share its cost over twenty or more years and it becomes a bargain. The very fact that it is used only occasionally prolongs its active life well beyond the temporary benefit provided by grants to several other causes favoured by GMCC. Looked after properly it should still be helping the helpless after many of us at the GMCC meeting have toppled from our perches (me anyway).. I know a Little Grey Fergie tractor that is community-owned and cared for and still active after 55 years.
      3. I regret the snow plough matter was put before Crystal Rig funders ahead of a fully prepared and briefed case. By doing so the decision against purchase of a plough may have been pre-empted. I think we could make a very good case and the approach to the GMCC should have been delayed until all information had been gathered. I think that now GMCC must find out from ELC what snow clearing it is NOT going to do; and find out from the community where there is a need for extra clearing to be done. That done we have the basis for requesting a rethink from Crystal Rig.
      4. The insurance and public liability may be solved if the machine is owned and run by ELC, using its insurance and GMCC as its surrogate. This is another area for investigation by GMCC. If beneficiaries are willing to pay for the service then the project might even become self-sustaining. The general point being made here is that problems usually have solutions. GMCC might consider searching these out, or asking someone to do so, rather than being (as I felt it to be) dismissive and discouraging of well-intentioned initiatives.
      If the volunteer shovellers prove up to it then the case for a snow plough falls away. However the precautionary principle suggests that time spent researching alternatives, just in case, might be time well spent. Also perhaps when all facts are known there should be, in the spirit of the times, a community referendum to settle matters.

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