Local farmer, John Sheaves, has offered to store grit supplied by Devon County Council in his barn and distribute it throughout the main roads in the village, via a piece of equipment hooked up to his Landrover.
I met with John a few weeks ago to discuss his ideas and was inspired at the thought of West Hill becoming self-sufficient in this way.
The move is likely to mean that Bendarroch Road – one of two main routes through West Hill and a bus route, will be gritted in icy weather – as soon as the necessary preparations are in place.
It has long been a bone of contention that only West Hill Road was listed on the salting network, particularly as Bendarroch Road is a bus route and is just as steep as West Hill Road. Last winter during the snow, Bendarroch Road was impassable for days.
John also hopes to grit the road leading up to the school, which last winter was shut for several days due to quite deep snow.
Following talks between community representatives, West Hill Residents Association is keen to adminster the project and Devon County Councillor, Roger Giles will be funding the gritting distributor from his locality budget.
WHRA is also looking into the possibility of buying a snow plough attachment, if enough money can be found.
It is a big commitment for John to grit some of our roads around the village, but he is really enthusiastic.
There are times when I realise what a wonderful place we live in and this is one of them. There are many generous spirited people in our community who are happy to put themselves out for others and volunteer their help. What John has offered to do is of enormous value to all residents of West Hill, but particularly older people living on their own who are most vulnerable during icy weather.
A HUGE thank you to John!