Hats off to them! Oor Cooncil has done a sterling job during the recent cold snap.
No, I’m not being sarcastic. The pen-pushing plonkers in Oor Cooncil have come in for a bashing on several occasions in this column. But, my goodness, the real workers among their number really got stuck into the problem of clearing the streets with a vengeance.
Last year, you may recall, West Lothian was more or less left untouched until the snow had all but gone. Other councils had conscientiously cleared up to our borders; so when you hit West Lothian you knew it, because instead of roads we had snow tracks.
As for theside streets and pavements, they didn’t see rock salt until Spring was about due. Then some wee workers came round in a yellow van and spread messy, gritty, ineffective whinsand. They would have been as well tossing out cheese and onion crisps for all the good that was – and as about aseffective. The A71 – along with other major thoroughfares – was left untouched for days, and everything simply ground to a halt.
But not this time. A foot of snow, on top of everything that had fallen before, fell in two hours. And straight away they were out there, dealing with the situation. Pavements were being cleared. Roads were being snowploughed and gritted. Men with high-viz jackets, with shovels and barrows of salt moved in.
I tell you, something has changed somewhere in the council policy. And whatever that change might be, it is to be applauded.
Mind you, it’s also hats off to the people of Langside Crescent in Polbeth. I had to walk to West Calder, and after a couple of hours I returned to find the snow cleared from the majority of the street. Snowplough? No. Kids with shovels – a squad of them – then the parents joined in, and before long there was a human snowplough working its way down the street.
And one kid I spoke to refused to take any money for his efforts.
So, to all of you who helped keep the county moving, council and communities alike, well done. In the face of one of the worst snowfalls and freeze-ups in living memory, you proved your salt.
And that’s heart-warming no matter what the weather might be outside.