Following is Part 2 of our interview with Frank Hindle, Liberal Democrat and Low Fell Councillor. Remember, comments and questions below!
LF: In the past couple of years the Winters have been quite harsh. However, there really has not been enough of a response from the Council to tackle things like icy footpaths and other issues the cold weather brings. What steps will be taken to improve that service?
FH: The Council has reviewed how it does things, particularly following Winter 2010/11. The Council did a thorough review on how to approach things. I have relatives in Canada and they do fine in winter, but on the other hand, there’s an awful lot of expensive kit on standby in Canada but they know they’re going to use it every year. We can’t go to that level in this country where we get some bad iwinters and some mild winters.
But lessons have been learned from the past few years. We’ll see how well it works out. There’s a priority system for which roads are gritted and cleared first.
LF: What does the Council think about providing various private streets with a grit mixture for the residents to put on footpaths?
FH: In general the Council supports this. This year when there was a bit of snow they did put the grit out to do this. The problem a couple of years ago was that the whole country was a short of grit. When that happens the Government controls the grit supply so the Council had restrictions on what could be supplied. But, generally, the Council does make grit supplies available for residents to do that both through the yellow grit bins and through piles placed for residents to use.
If there are areas where we’re not doing this then we encourage residents to get in touch with us and let us know.
LF: Some people believe the fortnightly household waste collection is not sufficient enough. What are your thoughts about changing that to a weekly collection?
FH: The Council did surveys, and we did some independent surveys before introducing the fortnightly collection and both surveys said that most people either agreed with the fortnightly collection or, they weren’t too happy with it but accepted it.
So I think fortnightly collections of general waste are here to stay. I think there is an issue with some families about whether they need a second bin and I’d like to see more flexibility there so that people who need a second bin can get one. The Council does have some criteria for this but my argument is that they should be a bit more relaxed about it.
When it comes to smelly items like food or nappies, I think we do need to look at more ways of handling this. People are concerned about what happens in hot summers with such waste, so we’ll be looking at that.
LF: Would the Councillors be open to doing a regular interview with Low-Fell.Com to keep the residents of Low Fell up to date with the latest news?
FH: Yes, we’d be happy to do an interview on a monthly or two-monthly basis.
With that in mind, people often ask when the Surgery is. The surgery is on the third Tuesday of every month (click here for more information) at Kell’s Lane School. We’re always happy to deal with issues, if people want to get in touch then get in touch at any time.
LF: Finally, what are your thoughts on the Low-Fell.Com project?
FH: We wish it well. The idea of having this kind of website was something we had talked about doing ourselves and wanted to set up but we didn’t find the time to do it. So the fact that you’re doing it is great.
If the website brings more business to Low Fell and make Low Fell a better place for everybody then that’s great!
Low-Fell.Com would like to thank Frank for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions and provide the residents of Low Fell with some valuable information.
If you have any questions to ask us about this interview or questions to put forward in future interviews then don’t hesitate to email us with them or write them in the comment section below. As always, opinions are welcome!Part One