Safety first

PUBLISHED: 16:47 12 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:54 06 May 2010

SIR, — I was astonished to discover that councils are abiding by a European Community directive which means shopkeepers, other owners of commercial properties and church authorities are advised not to shovel or sweep away the snow and put down grit or sal

SIR, - I was astonished to discover that councils are abiding by a European Community directive which means shopkeepers, other owners of commercial properties and church authorities are advised not to shovel or sweep away the snow and put down grit or salt on the pavements outside their premises. This is on the grounds that having "interfered" with the snow, the sweeper then becomes liable to be sued should someone have the misfortune to slip on that particular patch.

This directive from the European Community deals a death-blow to local community spirit and the inbuilt ethos of helping one's neighbour. The pavements, with their untreated icy slush, were extremely treacherous and even more dangerous than if they had been gritted. One was often forced to walk on the main road, ice-free as a result of gritting, and was then in danger of being hit by a vehicle. I understand that on the Continent it is the practice to sweep away ice and snow from outside one's premises.

Yet again common sense has been abandoned under the controlling force of bureaucrats far away. Most responsible people would welcome the helpful efforts of shopkeeers etc. to make the pavements a safer place in these snowy times.

SHELAGH COLLINGWOOD,

Clarence Road, Harpenden,

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