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Farron condemns "ridiculous" move to close Kendal gritting lorry depot

January 18, 2010 12:00 AM

Plans to close the maintenance depot in Kendal used to maintain gritting lorries, as well as fire engines and other county council vehicles, have been labelled as "ridiculous" by South Lakeland MP Tim Farron following the recent severe winter weather.

Jill Stannard, the Chief Executive of Cumbria County Council, confirmed in a letter to Mr Farron that gritting vehicles that previously went to Kendal for maintenance and their annual service will now go to Dalston in north Cumbria.

Cumbria County Council have described the closure as an attempt to reduce the amount of "unnecessary overheads which are not cost effective", however, Mr Farron has criticised the proposal for its lack of long term planning.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"At a time when people are only just beginning to recover from such a prolonged period of cold weather, the decision to close the Kendal workshop will strike everyone in the south of Cumbria as incredibly short sighted. It means that the next time we have winter conditions, the grit lorries could be trapped an hour away from our area following maintenance, making it much harder to respond quickly.

"Cumbria County Council has got their priorities all wrong. They should be working to put together a central plan to help deal effectively with this type of weather, and that means ensuring that they can respond swiftly in all conditions."