Political snow fight over lack of council grit

THE snow has become a hot political issue with councillors across north London using it in an attempt to hit out at their Town Hall rivals.

Liberal Democrats across north London sent out a joint press release this morning to criticise the work of four Labour councils in Haringey, Brent, Camden and Islington, in tackling the icy conditions.

They claim all four authorities have failed to keep areas moving.

Speaking for Haringey, Cllr Lyn Weber said the council should have learned from last year but instead Haringey is “grinding to a halt”.

Deputy Leader of Camden’s Liberal Democrats, Cllr Matt Sanders, added that more should have been done to support beleaguered shops.

“In what should have been one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, many of Camden’s roads were just impassable,” he said. “In difficult economic times like these I can’t believe Labour failed to keep the streets clear to help local businesses get people in at this vital time for them.”

However, the joint statement also revealed their political motivation.

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It included the line: “During the difficulties with snow last winter, Labour groups across North London – in Brent, Camden and Islington – all criticised the response of Liberal Democrat-led Councils.”

Elsewhere other political rivals had kinder words for council’s attempts to battle the weather.

Camden Conservative councillor Andrew Marshall wrote on his blog.

“Camden Council doesn’t have the resources to grit every road across the borough – this point is getting better understood - and it prioritises those it does based on a number of factors,” he said. “The problems this weekend were not due to a lack of grit, but the fact that the heavy snow and low temperatures reduced the effectiveness of the grit…Remember, snow is water – no one expects that the council can instantly dry the pavement whenever it rains.”

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