BASINGSTOKE residents have been urged to press their county and parish councillors for more grit bins.

The call has come from Basingstoke MP Maria Miller and county and borough councillor Elaine Still, who are both keen to ensure residents are able to grit their roads and pavements if snow and ice leads to slippery conditions.

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Mrs Miller said the council could not send gritters everywhere, but she was particularly concerned that busy public places, such as roads and pavements near shops, should have access to grit bins.

“If we don’t have the resources, we need the equipment to do it ourselves,” she said. “We need to mobilise the county council to get some action on this.”

The MP said she has received dozens of emails from constituents concerned about roads and pavements that became “treacherous” in the wake of snow falls on December 17 and December 21.

Mrs Miller, who said she raised the issue with local councils after last February’s snowfall, believes snow in Basingstoke is too infrequent to justify taxpayers’ money being spent on snow ploughs.

But she added: “Because snow is a less frequent occurrence, we need to have a far more robust plan to help residents and shopkeepers help themselves in these types of situations.

“We need to be able to harness Basingstoke’s strong community spirit.”

The MP called for quick action so bins could be in place if there is further snowfall this winter.

Mrs Miller and Cllr Still kicked off their campaign outside Linden Market Spar, in Linden Avenue, Old Basing, which they felt was an example of somewhere that could benefit from a grit bin, and where Mrs Miller said she saw residents walking in the road to avoid icy pavements.

Bob Pyle, owner of Linden Market, agreed, telling Mrs Miller: “As this is a more public area, we need a grit bin.”

Cllr Still said Chineham Parish Council is already trying to identify areas that would benefit from more grit bins.

She said: “I think the same should be done throughout the borough, particularly in hilly residential areas. Shopping areas like Linden Market are a lifeline, especially for older residents.

“These areas need their own grit bins so that residents and shop staff can help keep pavements clear of ice and safer.”

Cllr Still urged residents who want a grit bin in their street to contact their parish council and county councillor.