Greater calls for help as elderly faced high levels of snow

Questions are being asked again as to North Lanarkshire Council's duty of care with gritting during extreme weather conditions.

Tuesday, 16th February 2021, 4:16 pm
Flats were covered in snow

The issue cropped up again for the second time since the cold snap after Christmas amidst claims that key areas were left ungritted. But last week's snow prompted accusations that the council again has fallen short as Cumbernauld was covered in heavy snow.

One reader, Nathan Christie, said older residents in Seafar's newer homes were left helpless as snow piled up outside their properties. He has written to NLC simply because of the high proportion of those living there who fall into the elderly and vulnerable category.

Mr Christie (28), who provided this photograph, told us: "I live in Newlands Place in one of four blocks with residents who need care, shopping and medicine. Drivers and carers cannot access the street.

"I was also told that there are salt buckets in the street basically implying that very elderly people should be doing it themselves, but landlord Sanctuary Housing have told me that 80% of the residents in this area are over the age of 75. My neighbours are 96 years of age.

"Snow ploughs need prioritised in certain areas and I want to raise awareness of the importance of gritted areas in places like this and to have the council prioritise snow ploughs here.

"I would just describe myself as a concerned resident for those vulnerable especially in times of uncertainty and a pandemic.”

A council spokesperson said: “Our gritting and snow clearing fleet has been working 24/7, at full capacity to treat prioritised primary and secondary roads and footpaths in line with our winter service policy. As is common with most other local authorities, we do not routinely treat most residential streets or pavements. Salt bins are provided in key locations, and we ask the public to support elderly and vulnerable neighbours by treating their local streets and footpaths.”

She then suggested we ask Sanctuary about its responsibilities to residents in these circumstances. However its spokesperson insisted: “We offer additional support to our sheltered schemes but are not in a position to give extra assistance to those choosing to live independently.”