EXAMINER reporter Barry Gibson went out to speak to Kirklees Council’s gritting staff.
He spoke to Darren Richardson who asked residents to remember that gritters went out to work when most other people were at home with their families.
“I’m on call this Christmas – I’ll be on for a week from Friday,” he said.
“Last year when people were having their Christmas dinner there were people out gritting.
“We put in long hours and it does demoralise us to hear the criticism.
“If we could just see one letter in the paper saying well done to all the lads.”
Christmas spirit hadn’t reached poster Magdale: “Get a grip man. Don’t take what people say to heart. It goes with the territory of working for Kirklees Council.”
A more charitable view from Biker: “While I don’t think enough resource is put into gritting and ploughing by KMC (especially in some rural areas), I would never moan at the driver – they are simply doing their job! It’s a job which Darren is quite right in saying that we make far more difficult for him.
“I wonder how many of the people who complain are those who park badly?
“A bit like the drivers who slate everyone else despite hogging the middle lane on motorways and who are unable to reverse on a one car-width road.
“Keep up the good work Darren and Co and fingers crossed you aren’t needed and can spend Christmas with your loved ones.”
Markmyword49 had a straightforward answer: “The KMC drivers aren’t responsible for the routes they drive.
“That’s the result of consultations between their managers, the local councillors and the public who bother to attend meetings or comment on them.
“If people are too lazy to put in their two penn’orth then they get the service they deserve.
“The problem of cars parked inappropriately obviously needs the council to make those places clearways. I understand Canada, for example, has a system that bans parking on certain roads during winter.”
DavidH didn’t believe our gritters were doing it out of the goodness of their hearts: “As much we all appreciate that Darren and his fellow gritters do a great job even though it is Christmas etc we need to remember that he is getting paid (no doubt at a decent rate) to work over the Christmas period if needed and when he starts at 5am.
“He is not an unpaid volunteer! Firefighters, police and hospital workers will also be working over the period and unsocial hours.”