There is a definate nip in the air so it must be time for Grit Girl to pull on the gloves and prepare to put some plans into action.


This year has definitely been the year of all things grit related for me. There hasn’t been an unconference go by where I haven’t ended up mentioning grit, gritting routes or grit bins (usually in some sort of weird grit-off with Dan Slee).

And now the weather’s turning colder I’m trying to get some of the stuff we’ve been planning with departments ready to go online should the snow start a-falling.

As usual a great part of this planning has been casting an eye (sometimes enviously) over what others did last year or have planned. The latest thing to grab my attention was the grit bin stickers Sutton have added (and thanks to Adrian Short for sharing and Peter Olding for bringing to my attention).

We’re in the process of designing something similar so it was useful to see what they’ve put in place.

We’re still umming and ahhing about some things for our sticker proposal (I know, I know, time is ticking!) and one of the things we’re thinking about is whether to include QR codes.

Quick read barcodes are those square codes full of squiggles you might have seen and mean that via your mobile phone’s camera they can launch some sort of online dohaddy for you.  In terms of grit bins we’re thinking it could launch a form to make it quick for people to report a problem with the bin. A sort of alternative to just including the web address or call centre number.

I’m not sure take up is really at a level in this country where QR codes are a must have on the sticker. Perhaps including them is a bit of a gamble. Who knows how long it will be before the stickers are replaced – if we include them and they don’t take off will it be a reminder of a bet badly placed? If we don’t include them and we do will be kick ourselves each time a citizen asks why it isn’t available?

Is anyone else using QR codes in a council setting? Or got a view on them?

Or have you got some winter plans you can share with me to deepen my obsession with all things winter service???