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Author: Department for Regional Development
Published on 05 October 2011 10:00 AM

Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy today announced that key principles have been agreed to remove snow and ice from busy town centre footpaths.

The Minister met with Northern Ireland Local Government (NILGA), shortly after taking up office to discuss partnership arrangements for the removal of snow and ice on busy town centre pedestrian areas, during prolonged severe weather.

Roads Service continued to engage with NILGA and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE), to develop a set of key principles which would provide the basis of partnering arrangements between Roads Service and Councils for the coming winter.

The Minister said: “Good progress has been made in preparation for the winter weather. We have secured key principles with NILGA and SOLACE and I am hopeful this will lead to the roll out of local agreements with each council.

“These agreements will take account of council preferences for a schedule of footways to be treated, call-out arrangements, salt delivery arrangements and, perhaps most importantly, the resources available to each council.

“It is in all our interests to make sure these arrangements are in place before the winter. The arrangements will offer all organisations the opportunity to demonstrate how they can work together to provide this valuable service to local ratepayers.”

The Chief Executive of NILGA Derek McCallan said:” NILGA can confirm that Councils will receive guidance in the form of a general protocol from Road Service in the next few days. This more positive situation has materialised following frank discussions between the DRD Minister, Roads Service, NILGA and SOLACE.

“Councils may now determine their own agreements with Road Service. This winter NILGA will aggressively campaign for a cultural change and for the necessary legislation coupled with educational and promotional activity to encourage independent self help.”

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