The votes have been counted and verified and the nine winners have been revealed as Renfrewshire’s #NameOurGritters competition comes to a close.
More than 8000 votes were cast on the council’s Twitter account as the quirky competition captured the imagination of the local community.
Following a series of polls, the public decided that Renfrewshire’s roads will be kept clear this winter by Ploughlo Grittini, Thawin’ Batty, Tony Gritzpatrick, William Wall-ice, Gerry Raffersleigh, Fridge of Weir, Gleniffer Brrraes, Buddie Baltic and Paisleigh.
STV weatherman, and Renfrewshire resident, Sean Batty will be able to report on his namesake this winter as Thawin’ Batty takes to the roads.
Sean said: ““This has to be one of the highlights of my career so far, having a gritter named after me.
“I was so excited when I heard that someone had suggested Thawin’ Batty and hoped it would do well when it went to the public vote. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sitting on the day refreshing the results to see how it was getting on!
“As a big fan of cold snowy weather, I now have the extra excitement of watching for my gritter passing the house.”
The competition set out to recognise the local heroes in Renfrewshire and they don’t come much bigger than St Mirren’s legendary, cup-winning captain, Tony Fitzpatrick.
Taking to the roads this winter will be Tony Gritzpatrick and the club’s Chief Executive was delighted to be chosen.
Tony said: “People had got in touch with me to let me know I was in the competition and it’s a great honour. I’m very proud to have been chosen.
“I think it’s a great idea, creative and that’s what Paisley is all about at the moment and to see my gritter driving through the streets and helping people, it’ll be fantastic.
“For the people that voted, thank you, it really does mean a lot and that’s from the heart.”
More than 1600 suggestions were submitted by the local community before they were whittled down to a final shortlist by a judging panel which included a gritter driver, Care at Home staff member and a community resilience volunteer.
Councillor Natalie Don, Depute Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “What a fantastic competition this has been and it’s one the local community have supported in their thousands.
“We wanted to raise the profile of our local heroes who keep Renfrewshire moving throughout the winter period and I hope it has made people recognise the work that is undertaken, often throughout the night, by our inspiring staff.
“This isn’t just our gritter drivers but also the staff who deliver meals to elderly residents, work in our care homes or carry out emergency repairs for residents.
“I want to use this opportunity to thank them for their hard work and dedication, and I do hope the gritter drivers enjoy taking the newly-named gritters out on the roads this winter.”
The competition was part of Renfrewshire’s annual #RenReady campaign which aims to ensure local communities and businesses are prepared for winter weather and are able to deal with issues such as a loss of utilities, difficult journeys or flooding in the local area.
There is support and guidance available via the council’s website and an ongoing social media campaign will take place throughout the winter period to keep residents informed.
For information on how to stay safe this winter, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/