Council chiefs hit Holt streets for DIY gritting

True Grit came to the genteel streets of Holt on Saturday as two long-serving councillors took it upon themselves to clear the town's perilous pavements of snow.

And one of them, Holt county councillor John Perry-Warnes, said the action was the 'shape of things to come', with volunteers likely to have to fill the gaps all over Norfolk as public services are scaled back.

Mr Perry-Warnes was joined by town council chairman Bryan Payne and the town council's trusty gritting cart - which unfortunately failed to do its job of scattering the grit because the mixture was too wet.

The two men spent more than two hours shovelling grit on the pavements and clearing the snow, which was melting away as temperatures finally got above freezing.

Mr Perry-Warnes said: 'With the budget constraints that it has, the county council just does not have the capacity to grit the pavements any more.

'So really it is all about finding volunteers to step in and do it themselves. I think we all have to be volunteers now. It is a little bit of Big Society in action.'

Mr Payne said they had been thanked by many people as they were going about their work.

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He said: 'We thought it was a good idea to do this, to stop the pavements being dangerous for shoppers. The town council bought the machine after last year's snow, when the pavements were not cleared.'

Mr Perry-Warnes added: 'I think the shopkeepers should do their bit by clearing in front of their own shops.'