What a pile of grit!

Down the Street

Yes, it can get this bad!

You might have guessed from ‘cockney rhyming slang’ title of this post that we are still suffering from Derbyshire County Council’s decision to seemingly abandon the residents of Sheldon this winter. The recent consultation (or lack thereof) relegated our village to a secondary gritting route, which from the evidence presented to us so far, means that we aren’t worth bothering with. However, in the past few days we have been getting some grit on the approaches to the village, but not up the main street itself. Now some of you reading this might think that we are moaning for the sake of it, but an examination of our particular geographical (and topographical) location shows that unless the grit gets into the village itself, Derbyshire Council Council might as well not bother coming at all.

The bottom of our main street (in fact, our only street) is at an altitude of 300m, with the top of the village at 329m. The overall length of the inhabited section of the main street is  567m, meaning that we have a road with an average gradient of 1 in 20 (5%). We defy anyone to want to drive down (or up) that in anything other than perfect conditions! If we compare ourselves to a similar village (in location, but not size*) such as Stanton in Peak, their main street has an average gradient of 1 in 15 (7%) with a maximum altitude of 280m, but they are on a primary gritting route. Of course, we are very happy that they are looked after by Derbyshire County Council (they have a fantastic local school afterall), but our residents do feel that they have been abandoned.

We would like to remind councillors that whilst we are a small village of some 70 residents, we are all voters and council tax payers, and extremely active in the local community. We therefore urge them to reconsider placing high-altitude villages such as Sheldon into the secondary gritting category as a matter of urgency, before somebody is seriously hurt.

Update: To add insult to injury, a DCC gritter passed through our village at 18h55 on Sunday 18th December, apparently without dropping any grit. The powers that be assure us that our street was gritted, but given the fact that 30 people were stood in the street at the Village Nativity at the time (some of whom have stepped forward to say they witnessed this) something doesn’t quite add up. We have been assured from the Councillor in charge that “at the completion of this years (sic) winter maintenance programme (and) your views will be considered”…not very useful for this winter. We look forward to a full public examination of the review of this new policy in the new year, and will ensure that we continue to fight for all of the communities that DCC have abandoned to the snow and ice.

*Approximate population size: Stanton in Peak 370, Sheldon 80 (Census 2001)

Leave a Reply