A COUNCIL plea to residents to help clear snow from minor roads this winter has been branded "ridiculous" by a councillor - but welcomed by others.

Bradford Council has promised to do "everything in its power" to keep the district moving but warned that budget cuts were biting harder and that residents would have to "help themselves, help their neighbours and help the Council."

The fleet of 26 gritting wagons has a 720-mile route to cover during ice/light snow. In heavy snow, the route is reduced to 400 miles.

Councillor Paul Cromie claimed Bradford Council had failed in previous years to keep roads running and it shouldn't be down to hard-pressed council taxpayers to help out.

He was responding to a Council appeal to community-minded people to consider clearing minor roads, drives and pavements during cold snaps.

"People pay council tax and they shouldn't have to do gritting and salting for the council," said Cllr Cromie, whose Queensbury ward is one of the highest in the county and often hit hard by wintry weather.

However, he said that residents including himself and his wife Linda, a former councillor, were already doing their bit by purchasing grit and grit bins using cash from their own pockets.

Cllr Cromie said that in previous years the council's response to snow and ice in Queensbury had been "very limited".

"There is anger against the council for not doing enough. It is the same old story from the council every year, that they haven't got any money. In Queensbury, we always seem to be the last on the agenda."

A spokesman said: "In ice or light snow flurries, Bradford will grit a 720 mile route around the district with special attention paid to the highest and most treacherous areas.

"This does not include minor roads in estates, suburbs and villages, which will only get done in times of very severe weather when the main roads are clear and the weather improves."

The spokesman said residents could help ease the burden on the council.

"Fit and active residents working together as a community with garden tools can soon clear a cul-de-sac, and other minor roads or pavements of accumulated snow."

Councillor Michael Walls (Con, Queensbury) said he was in favour of people "doing their bit".

"It's a lot better than moaning," he said.

Councillor Val Slater, Bradford Council deputy leader, said: "We cannot wave a magic wand and make the snow go away. People have to realise that resources are stretched to the limit just to maintain basic levels of service.

"Our hard working highway teams do their best but we have to be realistic. If there is heavy snow, there will be traffic disruption and delayed journeys. Minor roads will not be cleared straight away.

"We would ask the residents of the district to help themselves, help their neighbours and help the Council. It’s very easy to complain but it’s much more productive to share in the responsibility and work to help overcome problems caused by bad weather.”

For all the information you need about winter preparations please visit Bradford Council’s website at (www.bradford.gov.uk) for information and how to access emergency alerts on social media.