Community gritting partnerships

Information about how parish and town councils and other organisations can help with winter maintenance.

The community partnerships scheme offers parish and town councils and other community organisations the chance to provide a higher level of winter maintenance in their area.

The winter maintenance service is a high priority for us, but because of the size of the county and the resources available to clear snow and ice, it's not possible for us to grit all footpaths and roads during severe conditions. The community partnership does not replace what we do - it enhances it. We have successfully set up volunteer schemes with a number of community partnerships. If your partnership is interested in joining, you will need to identify volunteers who will be willing to take part in clearing snow and gritting roads and footways. Then contact us to register your interest and obtain further details on training and setting up a scheme.

Contact us

Contact us to register your interest and get further information about community gritting partnerships.

Contact us to register your interest

How the scheme works

Community partnerships that join the scheme will have to pay for equipment and salt/grit, which can be purchased directly from us at a cost of £100 per tonne. It is delivered in October. It's important that it is stored safely and securely, reducing the potential for theft and preventing contamination of water courses. Refills may be made during the winter at the same cost. We will provide guidance on buying snow-clearing equipment during the training and briefing process. Routes to be gritted will be agreed in advance with the local highways area office. The focus is on snow clearance and not preventative salting for frost.

Check if your parish is part of the community partnership scheme by contacting your parish clerk.

Further information

Case study

 We have created the following video with Riccall Community Partnership.

Insurance cover

Liability for claims from third parties using North Yorkshire roads and footways rests with the council, apart from instances where the parish or town council acts in a negligent manner.

Each community partnership involved in this scheme will need to have £5million public liability insurance and £10million employee liability insurance. This is so that if somebody were to claim against the parish or town council, it would be able to defend the claim.

If you have insurance cover please check with your provider to ensure you have adequate cover.

Acquiring additional salt bins

Community partnerships can acquire and maintain additional salt bins at locations that do not meet the county council's criteria. In such cases the partnership must fund the cost of the bin and the salt refill as follows for each bin.

  • a 200kg green (or yellow) bin - £50
  • an annual maintenance charge to cover the salt replenishments - £75
  • a further charge may be levied if more than two salt refills are required

If the partnership uses up all of the salt/grit between the replenishments, it may need to source additional supplies of salt/grit from builders merchants or DIY stores.

Participating community partnerships will need to have a lead representative who will be responsible for arranging payment to us for the bin and the annual maintenance charge. They will also be the direct point of contact with us if any problems arise.

The community partnerships will be responsible for maintenance of their funded bins. We will only approve repairs or replacements in agreement with the partnership group's lead representative. The community partnerships will be expected to meet the cost of repairs and replacements.

The salt/grit from the bin(s) is intended for use on public footways and roads only.

Getting involved

In areas where a community partnership is not active, groups of residents may wish to join together to fund a salt bin in their street.

These neighbourhood schemes are designed to allow neighbourhoods to have access to salt / grit to help clear snow and ice from their street.

Clearing snow and ice from pavements

During periods of prolonged heavy snowfall, pavements will only be cleared after the main carriageway routes have been cleared.

Pavements will be cleared in priority order as follows:

  1. main shopping areas and pedestrian routes
  2. other important pavements and local shopping areas

Clearing snow and ice from pavements

You can clear snow and ice from pavements yourself. If an accident happens after clearing snow or ice outside your property, pathways to your property or public spaces, it's highly unlikely that you would be sued as long as you are careful and use common sense to make sure that you don't make the pavement or pathway clearly more dangerous than before. People using areas affected by snow and ice also have responsibility to be careful themselves.

Some practical advice to help you clear pavements safely



Start early

It is easier to remove fresh, loose snow compared to compacted ice that has been compressed by people walking on it.

Do not use hot water

This will melt the snow, but may replace it with black ice, increasing the risk of injury.

Be a good neighbour

Some people may be unable to clear snow and ice on paths leading to their property or indeed the footway fronting their property. Snowfall and cold weather pose particular difficulties for them gaining access to and from their property or walking to the shops.

Clear a central pathway first

When clearing an area of snow make a pathway down the middle of the area first so you have a clear surface to walk on. Then you can shovel the snow from the centre to the sides.

Place shovelled snow sensibly

Consider where you are going to put snow before you start shovelling it, so that it does not block people's paths, or block drainage channels. This could shift the problem elsewhere.

Spread some salt on areas you have cleared

This will help to prevent any ice forming. Table salt or dishwasher salt will work, but avoid spreading on plants or grass as they may be damaged by it. A few grams (a tablespoon) for each square metre you clear should work. The salt found in salting bins will be needed for keeping roads clear.

If there is no salt, use sand or ash

A little sand or ash is a reasonable substitute for salt. It will not have the same de-icing properties as salt but should offer grip under foot.

Take care on steps and steep gradients

Particular care and attention should be given to ensure snow and ice is removed. You might need to apply additional salt to these areas.

Use the sun to your advantage

Removing the top layer of snow will allow the sun to melt any ice beneath; however you will need to cover any water with salt to stop it refreezing overnight.