My Aunt Hettie is not going out of her flat during this period. She broke a hip last year, is 90 years old – and very sensibly she is holed up for the duration.
But most of us have to go out. Most of us understand that when it snows it can be dangerous and slippery and we may well fall over.
I want us to be like Canada or the USA where we all clear the snow from the space in front of our own dwellings. But according to the Law Society (and the debate at Question Time in the Lords and various article) we may risk being sued if we do and someone falls over on our patch. If we don’t they can sue us – rather than the Council. (The Council has a duty of care towards its residents).
I would say to the Law Society et al – if they think that creating a litigious atmosphere by their pronouncements is helpful – then they should hang their heads in shame. People should feel free and encouraged to do their community bit by clearing snow away. They shouldn’t be inhibited or quashed by being warned off. And if there is legal doubt – then they are the body that should be campaigning to ensure that the law or its consequences does not stop people clearing their frontages. Bloody ridiculous!
Firstly, if I fell over because a bit of ice had formed in a bit of pavement where my neighbour had cleared their frontage – my first thought would not be I must sue them. I would regard as an accident. Not everything is someone’s fault – particularly if the motive was to improve the situation. And given Haringey’s hands off policy towards side roads – I would like to see a community snow plan for every side road where local people can clear their own frontage with grit supplied to the road by the Council – without fearing litigation.
This is just a world gone mad! I’ve cleared the snow off my front steps so that visitors and the postman won’t slip on them. I await a lawsuit!
UPDATE: Thinking further – am going to take this up with Minister of Justice – to see how many cases there have been!