Warning over reduced Midlothian pavement clearing

Image caption,
Contractors will not be working over the festive period

Midlothian Council has warned residents to expect pavement clearing to be reduced over the festive period.

The 38 road gritting crews and three hired ploughs will continue to work to keep Midlothian moving over the festive and New Year period.

However, the number of workers clearing footpaths will drop from the current 146 to about 50.

It is due to contractors brought in to clear the snow taking Christmas holidays.

The majority of council offices and services will close on Saturday 25 December 2010 and reopen on Wednesday 5 January 2011.

Derek Milligan, Midlothian Council leader, said local people were being asked to clear footpaths in front of their homes.

He said: "Because we rely heavily at this time of year on contracted workers from the construction industry coming in to clear pavements, when the holiday period comes they won't be around.

"That means that the 50 or so people we do have available will be focussing on town centre footpaths and pavements on main roads and around health centres etc."

An East Lothian Council spokesman said their contractors would not be working over the holidays either.

An Edinburgh City Council spokeswoman, said: "We are currently in negotiations with our contractors and have offered enhanced financial incentives to those contractors willing to forego their usual holiday period.

"This, added to our own staffing compliment, will result in significant extra resource being available throughout the festive period."

A West Lothian spokesman said there would be fewer staff on Christmas Day, but more staff on Boxing Day and the public holidays.

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