Page last updated at 14:31 GMT, Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Yorkshire town's grit 'stolen by outsiders'

Man filling grit box in Market Weighton
Council workers in Market Weighton have been refilling grit bins

Residents in an East Yorkshire town are blaming "outsiders" for stealing grit from specially provided boxes.

People living in Market Weighton said they were unable to grit their paths and driveways because thieves from other areas were raiding the supplies.

Grit bins are being emptied almost as soon as they are filled, officials say.

Acting town clerk Tracy Simms said the bins should last a week. "But they are just being emptied more or less as they are being filled," she said.

Market Weighton Town Council recently bought 10 bins to add to those currently provided by East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

We just feel we're filling them up continually and they are being abused
Tracy Simms, Market Weighton acting town clerk

"We have had reports from residents saying it looks like outsiders are coming and helping themselves to the grit," said Ms Simms.

"People are entitled to take the grit and use it but it is paid for by our taxpayers' money and if it is outsiders taking it, it is not our residents that are benefiting.

"We just feel we're filling them up continually and they are being abused.

"They are taking so much that people have actually turned the bins upside down to get every last bit out."

She said some elderly people living in hilly areas of the town had been unable to leave their homes because of the lack of grit, which is believed to have been taken at a rate of around three tonnes per week.

Humberside Police, said stealing grit from the bins was theft and anyone caught doing so would be dealt with accordingly.

Flash warning

Meanwhile, the heavy snow on Tuesday closed many schools and caused disruption to travel on the roads and rail network across East Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire.

Humberside Police advised people to avoid using the roads if possible.

Train services between Hull and Selby were suspended and a replacement bus service put on after a train hit a car on a level crossing at South Duffield near Selby.

Dozens of schools and colleges also closed due to the adverse weather.

The Met Office issued a flash warning of severe weather for eastern parts of the Yorkshire and Humber region.

There were fears that some villages, particularly on the Yorkshire Wolds, could be cut off.

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