A CALL for an urgent review of Fife Council’s current winter gritting and snow clearing policy will be made today (Thursday).

Dunfermline Conservative councillor Gavin Ellis is backing a motion at the full meeting of Fife Council which will also recognise the “heroic” efforts of staff and local residents during the recent extreme weather.

Tabled by Tory colleague, Cowdenbeath councillor Darren Watt, it asks fellow councillors to agree to the review as he believes too many people experienced “preventable distress and difficulties” and were cut off from their communities because of the lack of snow clearing and gritting.

“Every winter, residents in Fife rightly question the council’s response when we are hit by freezing temperatures and snow,” Cllr Watt said.

“There is a resounding reason that it is not good enough. This motion I have put forward is to assess and determine if the current policy in place is fit for purpose.

“We must learn lessons from the recent weather where too many communities were cut off and the need to keep disruption to an absolute minimum.

“This is not a criticism of the heroic efforts of staff and residents who went above and beyond, and the motion makes that clear.

"It’s about learning and what can be done better to ensure the response that is in place is of the highest standard.

“I was inundated with pleas for help from key workers, families with vulnerable relatives, and even from staff at Fife Council’s own care homes.

"Many people had to take unnecessary risks in their vehicle or by foot, just to get groceries, check in on family members or get to work, and that quite frankly is unacceptable.

“Extreme winter weather is not a new phenomenon, and Fife Council needs to be better prepared.”

The motion has been seconded by Cllr Ellis, who represents Dunfermline North and is critical of the cutbacks in grit bins across the region.

“The SNP / Labour Fife Council administration has been short-changing residents when it comes to winter maintenance,” said Cllr Ellis.

“We need a review of grit provision and the council pointing to the fact we had more bins than Edinburgh isn’t good enough.

“We have a whole different climate to Edinburgh and the recent weather has shown this to be the case. I urge councillors of all parties to listen to residents who have lost their grit bins and are now suffering as a result.”