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York is to recruit volunteer snow wardens
York from the air during heavy snow in 2010
Volunteers will help keep the city's streets clear during bad weather

Volunteers are being recruited in York to help keep the city's minor roads clear during heavy snow.

The local council is planning to recruit up to 50 volunteers.

The snow wardens will be provided with a shovel, high visibility coat and gloves. They will also be given safety training before winter.

The idea for snow wardens originated in Canada, where a group committed themselves to helping other more vulnerable members of the community.

John Goodyear, Assistant Director for Environment at the City of York Council, said: "Snow wardens will be asked to clear the snow, with help from friends and neighbours, on the minor roads, cul-de-sacs and those places we don't have the capacity to grit or clear."

Training provided

The new wardens will be provided with training using a summary of the council's winter maintenance manual. They will also be taught how weather forecasting works.

As well as being given shovels and clothing the wardens will also be provided with one-tonne bags of salt in addition to the usual salt bins on the streets.

Wardens will need access to a mobile phone or the internet because the local council expects them to become involved in the flow of information about extreme weather.

Other councils in England are trialling similar projects, but this is a first for York.

To volunteer or find out more about what the scheme involves, residents can call Michal Czekajlo on 01904 551841.

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