Snow clearers needed at Axminster

Town Council ready to train volunteers to maintain essential services if the weather turns icy again

AN appeal has gone out for volunteers to help keep Axminster moving if it is struck by another icy blast this winter.

Recruits are needed to work with town council snow wardens John Jeffery and Brian Watson, to ensure access is maintained to medical and other essential services.

Helpers will have to undergo training and fill in a special form so that they are covered by the county council’s third party insurance, under their snow warden scheme.

Town Clerk Hillary Kirkcaldie said they would concentrate on clearing key areas if the weather turns nasty again.

She told The Herald: “Priority will be given to assisting those who need to get medical help or similar or whose jobs entail visiting vulnerable members of the community who need care and to treating those roads and pavements which are most used and most treacherous, such as Church Street which leads to the doctors’ surgery and minor injuries unit.

Miss Kirkcaldie stressed the scheme was not intended to make it possible for everyone to get to work.

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“The snow wardens may only grit those parts of the public highway which are the responsibility of Devon County Council,” she said. “Private roads, such as the approach to the railway station, unadopted roads, such as Flax Meadow Lane and areas which are the responsibility of East Devon District Council, such as the car parks, will not be gritted as part of the scheme.

“The snow wardens and their assistants are volunteers. Many will be in full time employment and will have to fit what they can do around their work duties and any family commitments.”

She urged the community to look out for their neighbours - especially the elderly - and businesses to clear pavements in front of their properties, before calling the snow wardens for help.

Volunteer can fill in an application form at The Guildhall. Cllr Jeffery who is snow warden for the main town area can be contacted on (01297) 32502 or 07875 413698 and Cllr Watson, who is responsible for Raymonds Hill, on (01297) 32060.