Black country

Sandwell Council's plea to snow volunteers

Volunteers in the West Midlands are being offered shovels and grit to help keep paths and pavements clear of snow and ice during winter.

Up to 2,500 shovels and more than 4,000 3kg tubs of salt will be available to residents in Sandwell willing to help in the community, the council said.

Community organisations can also apply for their own grit bin.

The council said about £30,000 will be spent on extra bins and using vehicles to treat pay-and-display car parks.

It will be the first time, smaller vehicles have been brought in to treat the council's 30 car parks, the spokesman said.

'Community spirit'

The council is also pledging to fill grit bins more regularly and redeploy council staff to clear heavy snow if necessary.

The Snow Champions scheme is also being funded by the council at a cost of £23,000.

Sandwell Council leader councillor Darren Cooper said its scheme to encourage people to help keep paths clear will help the community.

"The Snow Champions scheme is to encourage people to help one another if Sandwell gets snowed in this winter," he said.

"We can't grit every road or pavement and I think people realise that.

"But we all know there is a great community spirit alive in Sandwell and if people are willing to help others, we will give them the tools to do it.

"We will give tubs of salt and snow shovels to people who want to keep the pavement outside their home safe or help out elderly neighbours by clearing their paths.

"We also have 50 new grit bins that we want to give to community groups and organisations such as traders associations or Neighbourhood Watch groups."

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