Published: 12:29, 15 February 2021
| Updated: 12:33, 15 February 2021
Concerned councillors say residents were left without road salt following the big freeze last week.
Sheerness Town Council chairman Matt Brown travelled from the Island to Selling near Faversham to collect 200kg of rock salt.
His 50-mile round trip took him to Summer and Winter Services which donated eight 25kg bags.
He said: "There were a few areas around Marine Town in Sheerness which were particular dangerous. Swale council didn't organise its usual free salt distribution this year so it was a case of ringing round to find anywhere which had some.
"I drove to a colleague's yard in Selling who kindly donated 200kg and asked that we make a donation to charity instead of payment, which we'll be doing."
He and Cllr Colin Bastable, who runs the Capelli hair salon, scattered the salt on iced-up pavements. Cllr Brown added: "We are going to see how this can be avoided in future. The streets became very dangerous.
"Some residents had helped neighbours by clearing pavements, which was great to see, and made the grit and rock salt so much more effective."
Swale councillor James Hall (Murston) said he called KCC for two days to try to get gritters to the Great Easthall estate near Sittingbourne but said he was "disappointed" at the response. So he and residents ended up clearing snow and ice themselves on Saturday.
He said: "It was so gratifying to see the community spirit. Everyone worked tirelessly. We concentrated on the entrance to the estate, the pathway and road."
Empty grit bins were spotted around the borough although KCC hit back at claims it had run out of salt.
A spokesman insisted: “We did not run out of salt, despite social media speculation suggesting otherwise. We were filling empty salt bins as quickly as possible alongside gritting the primary routes in Swale and hand-salting the town centres and Covid testing and vaccination centres."
He added: "When using salt from a salt bin, a teaspoon is enough to cover a square metre of road or pavement. We encourage people to use it sparingly. It is for use on public roads and pavements, not private property."
He said suggestions that KCC had not been prepared for the snow were untrue. "We were aware of the weather and had a 120-strong gritter crew working shifts throughout the day and night," he said and added: "It is not possible for us to clear every single road. Some roads had to be left to thaw naturally."
KCC says it salted nearly 28,000 miles of primary roads. Motorways are the responsibility of Highways England.
A Swale council spokesman said: “We have been supporting our KCC colleagues by redeploying street cleaning crews to help grit pavements in town centres and vaccination centres when requested.”