STEPS to monitor the number of falls during winter will be put in place as West Dunbartonshire Council roles out its new gritting policy.

Councillors have agreed to implement further footway treatments between January and March next year to help pedestrians commute during the coldest time of the year.

Three options were presented to members at a full council meeting last week which advised them to approve the targeted treatment to priority routes which would be carried out every two weeks.

But it was agreed that an alternative to grit priority footways outwith normal working hours, when weather conditions require, was the preferred option.

Labour councillor John Mooney said: “It is very good to see that there has been a positive public response and that gritting in schools was considered beneficial.

“Have conversations have taken place with the health and social care partnership?

“Part of my motion last year was to see the effect of improved gritting on reduction in falls and perhaps monitor that, particularly the elderly and disabled people who attended accident and emergency during the winter months as a result.”

Cllr Mooney was informed that there was anecdotal evidence that falls maybe reduced in the location of sheltered housing.

The local authority would need to monitor this for a longer period of time to gather data in this area.

Cllr Mooney added: “I welcome the proposal to adopt option one rather than option two because I believe we still need to continue the good work that is being done.

“I would like to see a further report from the health and social care partnership, looking at the reduction in falls leading brought back to council.”

The proposal was accepted by the SNP before the winter gritting plans were approved unanimously.