ANGRY parents have hit out at West Dunbartonshire Council for requesting help to do “their job” of clearing snow from school playgrounds.

Ahead of yesterday’s return to school, headteachers throughout West Dunbartonshire urged mums and dads to get involved with the process of preparing schools.

But dozens of outraged parents hit out at the plea and demanded the local authority ensured all schools had been cleared of snow, rather than rely on helpers.

One wrote: “Speechless at this. It’s their job.”

While another said: “Myself and my neighbours have been trying to do our best but there is only so much you can do with a snow shovel, [we] need gritters and a snow plough up.”

She added: “That’s the way I feel, battled through all sorts last year and the start of this year when the council should be doing a lot more to keep us safe – getting out of hand now.”

Clydebank councillor John Mooney said he sympathises with residents who are angered by the requests.

He said: “Community spirit is great in principle but it does seem a bit to me like David Cameron’s big society.

“Asking hard working parents to go out and clear the schools? No, I don’t think so. I think it’s a bit of a cheek.

“More should have been done and more could have been done.”

Despite anger from some parents, schools were inundated with requests from parents who were eager to help return their children to school after the impromptu three-day holiday caused by the Beast from the East last week.

And the area’s councillors have also been quick to support the work done by their gritting team.

Tory councillor Sally Page told the Evening Times: “WDC Roads and Greenspace departments have worked extremely hard to try to keep on top of snow clearing.

“I think there is no harm in asking for help and most people enjoy being able to be part of a team, doing something useful for others.

“The village of Gartocharn through the Facebook page rallied enough help to clear the playground and pavements for a safe return for the school children.”

A West Dunbartonshire Council spokeswoman said the request for additional support was made by headteachers and had been met with a generally good response from the public.

She said: “There has been fantastic community spirit shown by residents in West Dunbartonshire in their efforts to help one another during this unprecedented weather.

“Our teams have been doing all they can to keep residents safe and keep the roads network moving as much as possible. Council teams have attended every school to clear snow from paths and entrances and this has been enhanced by the efforts of parent volunteers.

“We want to thank all of our residents who have gone the extra mile to help in our communities, we really appreciate their efforts.”

Meanwhile, South Lanarkshire Council come under fire after reports they had demanded janitors and dinner staff make up the hours missed due to the extreme weather conditions. However, the council quashed the claims.

Kay McVeigh, head of personnel services, said: “As with all employers last week, the council had to balance the need to keep providing the services that local residents rely upon, with the need to make sure our employees were safe when getting to and from work, as well as when they were at work. Given the extreme conditions last week, advice has been issued to all staff and managers to advise that no-one will be penalised if they wanted to get to work and couldn’t because of the weather.”