Tayside residents warned no new grit bins available for communities

© DC Thomson

Communities across Perth and Kinross have raised concerns about the provision and maintenance of grit bins but the council may not have the resources to do anything about it.

As the region prepares for a fresh cold snap, towns and villages have been asked by the local authority to take responsibility for their own streets and roads.

In Kinross, however, residents have complained about a lack of grit bins in a number of residential areas and of poor gritting.

Similar concerns have been raised in the Carse of Gowrie, where residents have complained salt stocks are poor and many grit stores are being used as waste bins.

Perth and Kinross Council has said tight resources mean it is presently unable to introduce any additional grit bins.

Across the region there are currently around 1,300 grit bins for the use of residents to keep their own streets and pavements safe.

Perth and Kinross Council has made a specific request to local people this year to take on additional responsibility for their communities.

Such action is important as the council has said its focus will be on clearing main routes and on keeping them clear.

That may mean local people seeing busy roads and thoroughfares repeatedly gritted and cleared in the midst of severe weather while lesser routes are overlooked.

Some of the issues being experienced by communities have, however, been self inflicted, as Carse of Gowrie Conservative Councillor Angus Forbes has discovered.

Mr Forbes carried out his own survey of grit bins and was unimpressed with the standard of service being offered to local people.

He has also been moved to raise concerns about how local people were choosing to use the bins.

“Having received many complaints from constituents about missing, empty and damaged grit bins I set out on a drive round the Carse of Gowrie to see for myself,” Mr Forbes said.

“I managed to look at 23 bins, three of which were completely empty.

“There does seem to be an issue in that older housing estates have fewer bins than newer estates and this is something I want to look at in advance of next winter.

“What I was more surprised about is the number of grit bins that had rubbish dumped in them, fizzy drinks cans, pizza boxes, cigarette ends, dog waste and even an old pipe.

“The other issue was vandalism, with 11 of the bins having been damaged or spray painted.”

Perth and Kinross Council said it was willing to discuss provision of grit bins with communities.

However, a spokesman said there was only so much the local authority could do at the present time.

He said: “The council have in excess of 1300 grit bins located within communities across Perth and Kinross.

“We are not in a position to give out any new grit bins but we would consider relocating any existing bins should there be agreement from the local community.

“While there is no formal inspection regime, we will respond to feedback from members of public in relation to damage/depletion of grit stock.”