Gritting in Winter

At Monday’s Parish Council meeting, councillors made an appeal to all of us who live in Saddleworth to help the parish keep the roads clear this winter.  They urged all of us to tell them which side roads and lanes should be gritted in order to be of greatest benefit to the community.  It’s all part of a consultation exercise before the possible onset of heavy snowfall. All comments are needed by 4th November.

Members of the parish council are currently in talks with Oldham Council about new ways of dealing with gritting which could be introduced this winter.

All observations and suggestions should be sent to the council clerk, Tony Marlor, Saddleworth Parish Council, Civic Hall, Lee Street, Uppermill or by email to by Friday November 4th.  Residents can also call the council on 01457 876665

Oldham Council’s winter briefing.

Salt Stocks

We currently have enough salt stock to last the winter, based on usage from previous years. Replenished on a call-off basis via the AGMA contract with Salt Union. Salt stock will be based at Moorhey Street. Security is being reviewed due to salt thefts last year.


The council’s10 gritters are ready for use, including 2 Unimogs (smaller gritters for lanes). Ploughs have been fitted to all gritters. Sub contractors are on standby with snow blowers and smaller gritters. Call out rota commenced on 20 October 2011. 28 drivers are on call, working shifts of one week in four up to 24 November 2011 with the option of bringing in additional shifts. From 1 December 2011 to 1 March 2012 the shift pattern is one week in two. Masternaut tracking system is in place for all gritting vehicles to ensure that all scheduled roads are visited. Pre-winter grit bin fill to take place over the next two weeks – 647 grit bins will be in situ across the borough.

Roads and transport

Arrangements are in place with neighbouring authorities regarding the closure of trans-Pennine routes.


Communications procedures and systems have worked well for the last two years, but great leaps were made last year particularly in internal communications and by using Social Media to keep residents informed. We are not complacent and have met with the Winter Resilience group to improve where possible. A private forum has been developed on the intranet so that the relevant staff / departments can keep each other up to date on developments and to ensure that everybody is communicating the same message. Departments who will input into this include call centre, operations, communications (inc. Press Office), Streetscene, neighbourhoods. Before the end of October every year, we will issue a briefing for elected members alongside a proactive press release to reassure the public that grit stocks, systems and services are prepared to meet the winter challenge, this will also signpost residents to relevant channels for information affecting services in their area. Winter phone lines are being staffed at Henshaw House with processes in place for communication of gritting requests through to the base at Lees Road Depot. Out of hours calls are redirected to the VIP Centre. A daily update will be sent to Communications who will then filter information to staff and the public via existing communications channels including intranet, Oldham Council website<>, Twitter<>, Facebook<> and local press. When the weather conditions dictate that silver command is in force a daily members brief will be circulated.Daily briefings will stop when silver command is stood down. The Oldham Council website ( features school closures, gritting routes, locations of grit bins, grit sales and how to get current information. Borough Life Magazine published in November 2011 will feature an article on how we’re planning for winter and how residents can get updates. First response will use their Twitter account (@oldhamalert<>) to inform followers of school closures, road closures or incidents. These will be retweeted using the council’s account (@oldhamcouncil). Schools have a text system to inform parents if their school is closed for the day. In 2011, using this methodology we achieved a great deal of positive feedback both from the press and Oldham residents. We have since developed our Social Media channels so that we now have more followers and links than in 2010.

Contact details

Should you or your constituents have any problems or questions regarding gritting then please contact us on 0161 770 4421/4423 or email<> For grit sales please<>



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