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Ministers mull further salt supply guidance

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The government has said it could yet issue further guidance to councils on how much salt they should keep in preparation for another sever winter.

The Department for Transport also said it was investigating how to encourage more councils to set up voluntary ‘snow warden’ schemes in preparation for the coming winter.

In its response to the Transport select committee’s July report on the impact on transport of last December’s severe weather, the DfT said that, following a review of last winter’s response to the heavy snowfall in December, it now regularly monitored salt stocks. This was “so that we can identify risks early on and take any further action where necessary, including providing advice to local highways authorities”.

The department had issued guidance on a range of actions that could be taken to ensure salt stocks last longer and said it further action “may include updating and providing further guidance if required”.

In response to the committee’s call for the government to issue guidance to local authorities on “enabling and encouraging voluntary action, for example in relation to the recruitment of volunteers snow wardens”, the department said: “We are aware of a number of authorities who have set up voluntary snow warden schemes. In preparation for winter 2011-12, we are looking at how these and other examples of community action can be enabled and encouraged more widely.”

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