Chipping Norton town mayor Mike Tysoe has delivered a stark message to vandals who wasted valuable snow grit by kicking over salt bins in the town –“leave the damn things alone!”
Speaking to the Banbury Guardian last Thursday, Mr Tysoe expressed his anger that the town council’s carefully formulated snow plan could be put in jeopardy after vandals kicked over a grit bin in Hailey Avenue twice in three days and moved others in Cotswold Crescent and Hill Close.
He said: “The first one in Hailey Avenue was kicked over so Oxfordshire County Council put it hard up against a bus shelter and dug it into the ground, but two days later it was kicked over again.
“It’s just so annoying because after the first snow fall there will be no salt up there. This stuff costs £120 per tonne. There are 13.5 tonnes out there in the grit bins and six tonnes spare, that’s all the back up I’ve got. It’s a strategic resource that we have to look after. We can’t afford to have it chucked away all over the place.” Chipping Norton Town Council has spent four years refining its snow plan after heavy snow falls in the town.
Oxfordshire County Council clears the main highways and fills up the grit bins once, but the town council’s plan caters for the smaller roads and replenishing the salt bins.
It hires two quad bikes equipped with snow ploughs and grit spreaders which are then filled from the grit bins.
These were deployed effectively after heavy snow falls in Chippy in January.
Snow wardens are recruited by the council to clear specific areas of town.
Mr Tyose said as well as vandalism, there is a problem with people wasting the grit by putting it down before snow has fallen, or using it for driveways on their own properties.
“Surely people realise the grit is there to help us clear the town,” he said.
He is asking residents to keep an eye on the grit bins and report perpetrators to the police if necessary.