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Sandwell launches campaign for volunteer snow clearers
1:00pm Saturday 27th October 2012 in News
MORE than 5,000 people in Sandwell will be given Snow Champion kits this winter by the borough council.
The campaign will see residents given free snow shovels and tubs of rock salt to help keep Sandwell moving if it snows.
Applications will open on Monday (October 29) and will close on Friday November. 9.
Council staff will deliver the kits to homes during November. Anyone who lives in Sandwell can apply for a kit.
Sandwell Council leader Councillor Darren Cooper came up with the idea of Snow Champions last winter, when 2,500 salt tubs and shovels were given out in the community.
He said: "The idea behind Snow Champions is equipping people in Sandwell to help one another out if it snows.
"Last winter's campaign was a great success and people told us they thought it was a really good idea, so we were keen to do it again this winter.
"We know Sandwell people like to help each other out and we hope that by giving out snow shovels and salt they will do just that.
"People will have two weeks to apply for a kit, either online, by phone or by text.
"Anyone who has a bit of community spirit and is willing to help others should apply. I used my Snow Champion kit in February to clear snow in my street and it was a great feeling to be helping others."
Sandwell Council's cabinet member for neighbourhood services Councillor Ian Jones added: "Last winter, we heard some really inspirational stories from Snow Champions who really made a difference by clearing snow in their communities.
"We heard how people cleared paths to the doors of elderly neighbours, others who cleared snow around blocks of flats and some who cleared the pavements on their estates.
"Snow Champions don't replace the fantastic work of our gritting crews who treat more than 260 miles of our main roads.
"The Snow Champions campaign is about giving people the tools to help one another out if we get another snowy winter."
As well as giving kits out to 5,000 new Snow Champions, the council will also deliver an extra tub of salt to everyone who applied to be a Snow Champion last winter. That means there will be 7,500 people equipped with shovels and salt around the borough.
A thousand kits will go to people who applied to be Snow Champions last winter but missed out after the council ran out due to the demand.