Snow cost Oxfordshire £1.5m

Oxfordshire County Council are promising the £1.5m cost of this winter's freezing weather won't lead to an increase in council tax.

Extra gritting and snowploughing means the County Council have already spent £630,000 more on winter roads maintennance than they had in their budget for the year 2009/10.  That only counts the period from November to January, with two more months of winter to come.

The Council say they will use their savings to pay for the extra work, and that they always have money in reserve to deal with severe weather events like the 2007 Oxfordshire floods.

Planning is now underway ahead of an expected increase in potholes.  They are a particular issue after freezing weather, because water that gets through cracks in roads and freezes then expands and leads to roads falling in.  The County Council is putting aside around £1m to deal with potholes over the rest of the winter.


Councillor Rodney Rose, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Transport, said: "I am proud of the hard work that has gone in to keeping services up and running in such difficult weather conditions. The council enacted its contingency planning in partnership with other organisations at an early stage.

"I cannot speak highly enough of the dedicated drivers of the gritting lorries and snowploughs and the back up teams who have supported them so ably. Special mention must also go to the farmers who mucked in and helped with the task of clearing snow in more rural locations.

"We remain annoyed and frustrated that our contract with Salt Union stating that our stocks should be replenished immediately to replace salt that had been used was not honoured.

"With snow now melting we'll want to be getting on and dealing with as many potholes as possible."


The County Council has also thanked Heart for the role we played in getting out information to people in Oxfordshire during the freezing weather.

Council Leader Keith Mitchell said: "There have also been many heartwarming examples of people rolling up their sleeves, showing real community spirit and helping out within their own community.  Such people are the backbone of Oxfordshire."