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Publication date:- 2016-12-23

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 4 news items.    Page - 10.

Gritting teams remain on standby over Christmas

THOUGHT we are now in the Christmas period and a seasonal shutdown of many services, residents can be assured that when it comes to tackling any severe winter weather conditions we may encounter, Wirral's gritting team are very much still on duty.

The Council's highways partner, BAM Nuttall, has staff on standby to take to the roads should temperatures drop and ice or snow threaten people's safety and ability to travel over the Christmas holidays.

Wirral Council's impressive salt dome on Cleveland Street in Birkenhead is well stocked and there are 10 full size gritters and 4 'mini gritters' ready to treat the roads if necessary.

Cllr Stuart Whittingham, Cabinet member for Highways and Infrastructure, said:- "It's vitally important that residents are able to go about their business safely and quickly, particularly at this time of year. Our winter service plan has now been in place for more than 6 weeks and will remain operational until at least 3 April 2017, with weather conditions being monitored around the clock and a highways manager on duty ready to make the call to send out the gritting crews. They have already been called upon on numerous times to treat roads affected by freezing temperatures and they are ready to do so again whenever needed, even over the holiday period."

So far this winter, crews have already made 17 gritting rounds, using 765 tonnes of salt.

Gritting routes are numbered one to 10 and cover the main roads in the borough. The routes have been designed so that each can be covered in around 3 to 5 hours. There are a further four routes that are unsuitable for larger gritters which are covered instead by the mini gritting vehicles.

In addition to gritting the key routes as described, in the event of adverse weather, decisions on whether to treat other areas; such as hilly side roads, car parks, pavements and shopping areas; will be taken by the duty highways manager.

Grit bins provided at many locations across the borough should be stocked ready to residents to use to treat problem pavements and pedestrian areas, as well as minor roads that aren't covered by the regular gritting routes.

Full details of the winter service plans; including the major gritting routes; can be found online.

288 children from Southport area have made new pet pals

PETS at Home in Southport is celebrating after educating almost 300 future pet owners on how to care for pets responsibly, over the course of 2016.  The Southport store offers free and interactive workshops, mainly during school holidays, which help teach children how rewarding pets can be and how to care for them. The workshops offer a fun filled set of activities, including products and pets, for a hands on approach to pet care. After completing the workshops, each child receives a My Pet Pals themed certificate, colouring sheets and stickers to take home. The informative workshops are run by Pets at Home colleagues, most of whom are pet owners themselves. They focus on teaching kids about the 5 welfare needs of animals; shelter, food and water, good health, appropriate company and the right living environment, which are all vital for keeping pets happy and healthy.  Store manager, John Gannon, says:- "It's been a privilege to meet so many local children this year and teach them about the importance of responsible pet ownership, whilst keeping them occupied during their school holidays. We're looking forward to even more junior pet owners or enthusiasts joining us for our free sessions in 2017."

To find out more about and the next:- 'My Pet Pals' sessions, in Southport and book your place online.

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