Council pilots community resilience plan

Winter on the road to Dunbeg.

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A pilot project is planned as part of Argyll and Bute Council’s effort to get communities helping with winter maintenance.

A report has revealed how the authority had hoped to consult with residents earlier this year on interest in helping to keep paths and pavements clear during the winter months.

However, the consultation process was delayed due to Covid-19 and is now planned to take place during the summer and autumn of 2021.

The details were revealed in a report due to be considered by the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee at a meeting via Skype on December 3.

Executive director Kirsty Flanagan said: ‘The council previously allocated specific funds as part of the winter maintenance budget to support community engagement and resilience relating to winter maintenance.

‘To support the development of the scheme we are looking to run one pilot somewhere in Argyll and Bute with an established community group.

‘On-the-ground feedback from a pilot partner would provide further useful data to inform the roll-out.’

Ms Flanagan listed various criteria for community groups to become involved in the pilot, including that its work be undertaken on a reactive basis.

However, it also adds that there should be no expectation by the council for the group to ‘turn out’ at any point, and that all PPE and equipment should be provided by the authority.

Ms Flanagan added: ‘A review of the pilot scheme and the public consultation feedback will be brought back to a future committee in order to define the scheme and move towards a full roll-out across Argyll and Bute.

‘Should uptake be significant the council may require to consider an area-based geographic criteria to ensure the limited funding (£50,000) is prioritised where it will deliver the greatest benefit.’

Neither a location nor a time for the pilot project have been identified, but it is aimed for a community resilience programme to be in place for winter 2021/22.