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pitch 63
First Team Star

Dec 20, 2011, 11:55 AM

Posts: 2096
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Post #1 of 9 (1337 views)
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Snow Can't Post or Reply Privately

My local council where I work has just sent me the following e-mail [edited to protect the innocent] -

Dear, "Mr XXX"!

XXXXXX City council is hoping that businesses will start to practice and help promote community resilience in the area where they are situated, this year we are trying to ensure that XXXXXXX is more resilient to disruptions caused by snow and ice, we would be grateful if you could distribute the attached posters within your businesses and to the community and if possible take the suggested actions if we do receive any snowfall
for any information look up the XXXXXXX council web site or contact the Civil protection unit by e-mailing XXXX.

Regards

XXXXX XXXXX

Civil Protection Manager
Civil Protection Unit.
XXXXXXX City Council
Room UG 39
The Council House

Basically, the Council, which is in one of the biggest cities in the country, appears to be opting out of snow clearance. Instead the posters attached to the e-mail tell you what to buy [shovels, grit, etc.] and how to clear the roads and pavements of snow outside your business. They are sending a similar e-mail to the Neighbourhood Watches, etc.

Last year the Council basically failed to clear any snow and only made token attempts to grit a few roads. I run a large business which involves nearly a million vehicle movements on to or out of a large open site each year. The past two winters we have stayed open with clear roadways and parking for up 1,000 vehicles, but the local authority has done nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing to keep roads open so that our customers can reach us. Indeed, we pay a very considerable Business Rate bill every year [probably big enough to fund a Step 5 and Step 6 club for a season], and the Council will not even take our waste, which we have to get transported at our own expense half way across the country to the nearest landfill site [we do recycle at our own expense 90% of our waste].

On top of this the Council has a planning application before them for the storing of the City's food waste in a site that shares a common 100 metre boundary with us. Do you think that they have informed us of this planning application? No not a chance, instead private houses a mile away have been told in a letter.

As Communities Minister Mr Pickles will shortly be having a nasty letter from me. Already in the past few weeks the MP for the area has had two letters, neither of which he has chosen to acknowledge.


Fanatic
First Team Star


Dec 20, 2011, 1:11 PM

Posts: 2427
Location: Aldgate
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Post #2 of 9 (1322 views)
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Re: [pitch 63] Snow [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

The anonymity is not so good when you can still click on the hyperlink to see what the e-mail address is!


Moorsider
First Team Star


Dec 20, 2011, 2:05 PM

Posts: 2115
Location: Boroughbridge N Yorks
Team(s): Kirkbymoorside (Wearside League)

Post #3 of 9 (1310 views)
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Re: [Fanatic] Snow [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Bound to go "Tits Up" then !

A few local councils up in North Yorks have hit on a similar scheme to try and save money. Would be better if they got rid of a few "Ethnic Minority" and "Eco Compliance" officers and spent the money on snow clearance.


Mr. T
Chelsea Transfer Target


Dec 20, 2011, 5:43 PM

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Post #4 of 9 (1286 views)
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Re: [pitch 63] Snow [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

During the last three winters there was much discussion about precisely whose responsibility it was to clear snow from pavements, particularly in town centres. It was often said that in some European countries (Germany was often mentioned), shopkeepers are apparently obliged to clear the pavements outside their properties (I'm not sure how accurate this is). In Britain, misunderstanding of public liability law led some of the media to report that property owners could be held liable for accidents if they had cleared the pavements but had done so less than wholly effectively.

It would help everyone concerned if the legal position were properly established (the compensation culture rears its head again). The debate could then move on to how much a local authority can practicably do and how much the public can do to help. Last winter in particular we all saw the news reports of high streets and market places like skating rinks where the local authorities were nowhere to be seen and had apparently absolved themselves of any duty to protect the public. While I do not think it unreasonable for shopkeepers, whether independent butchers or John Lewis, to clear the pavements immediately outside their properties, it's a bit much to expect them to deal with the whole town centre or, in Pitch 63's case, for businesses to clear large sections of the public highway.

The mention of neighbourhood watch schemes is interesting. Last winter I went out with my neighbours to clear our pavements and the road (well off the gritting circuit). Some of the denser inhabitants harangued us for doing the council's job, as though the local authority could ever find enough staff to clear the hundreds of miles of pavements in a town of 50,000+ people. They were quite hostile to the idea that any members of the public might take on a bit of responsibility in unusual conditions. It wasn't always like this.

Nevertheless, it's a simple fact of life that some European countries are better at dealing with this because it's more common (and note that they often use true grit rather than rock salt). Twenty-five years of almost snowless winters across much of southern Britain left many local authorities unprepared. But I do remember as a schoolboy that our council had snowploughs that could be attached to the front of its road maintenance lorries (no need for £5,000,000 snow-blowers) and that farmers were also paid to clear some country roads. Does this happen now? I certainly haven't seen it recently.


mip
Man City Transfer Target!


Dec 20, 2011, 9:16 PM

Posts: 9850
Location: Odense
Team(s): Portsmouth, OB, Svendborg fB, Tved B

Post #5 of 9 (1258 views)
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Re: [Mr. T] Snow [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
During the last three winters there was much discussion about precisely whose responsibility it was to clear snow from pavements, particularly in town centres. It was often said that in some European countries (Germany was often mentioned), shopkeepers are apparently obliged to clear the pavements outside their properties (I'm not sure how accurate this is).

...

But I do remember as a schoolboy that our council had snowploughs that could be attached to the front of its road maintenance lorries (no need for £5,000,000 snow-blowers) and that farmers were also paid to clear some country roads. Does this happen now? I certainly haven't seen it recently.



In Denmark shopkeepers and private residents have to clear their pavement (I have no pavement Smile). Public roads and public bike and foot paths are cleared by the council who are also responsible for gritting of roads. Roads are being gritted tonight as the temperature is expected to drop below 0 C during the night.

Exactly as Mr. T describes, it's common that snowploughs are attached to the front of ordinary maintenance lorries when needed and if needed private haulage companies and farmers are contracted to do snow clearing as well.

While the service is usually excellent it's also expensive. Many councils have exceeded their "snow budget" hugely over the two last winters.


(This post was edited by mip on Dec 20, 2011, 9:17 PM)


DonQuixote
Chelsea Transfer Target


Dec 20, 2011, 9:26 PM

Posts: 6012
Location: Crossrail - Zone 6
Team(s): Romford, Everton, @BrentwoodSunLge

Post #6 of 9 (1253 views)
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Re: [mip] Snow [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

The only thing we grit south of Birmingham when it snows is our teeth, as
we treat it like some alien life force. Makes me smile when the BAA authority
come up with every excuse known to man when they have lost millions, because
of cancelled and delayed planes, yet the peeps at Helsinki airport have had only
a handful of groundings in the past five years...
And while you're on, I take it you are Danish?
If so, just finished watching the Killing II....next up is Borgen, worth a look??




FA Vase semi programme wanted: 2001 Taunton v Clitheroe.



mip
Man City Transfer Target!


Dec 20, 2011, 9:33 PM

Posts: 9850
Location: Odense
Team(s): Portsmouth, OB, Svendborg fB, Tved B

Post #7 of 9 (1252 views)
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Re: [DonQuixote] Snow [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To

And while you're on, I take it you are Danish?
If so, just finished watching the Killing II....next up is Borgen, worth a look??



Much acclaimed in Denmark so probably worth watching. No first hand experience though.


DonQuixote
Chelsea Transfer Target


Dec 20, 2011, 9:40 PM

Posts: 6012
Location: Crossrail - Zone 6
Team(s): Romford, Everton, @BrentwoodSunLge

Post #8 of 9 (1250 views)
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Re: [mip] Snow [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Cheers ears, will record it then...
just checked out Sofie Gråbøl's pics on Google, not for any kind of personal gratification,
but in two series, I never got to see her smile once...she's a double for Chelsea Clinton.




FA Vase semi programme wanted: 2001 Taunton v Clitheroe.



Fanatic
First Team Star


Dec 21, 2011, 10:50 AM

Posts: 2427
Location: Aldgate
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Post #9 of 9 (1204 views)
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Re: [Mr. T] Snow [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
During the last three winters there was much discussion about precisely whose responsibility it was to clear snow from pavements, particularly in town centres. It was often said that in some European countries (Germany was often mentioned), shopkeepers are apparently obliged to clear the pavements outside their properties (I'm not sure how accurate this is). In Britain, misunderstanding of public liability law led some of the media to report that property owners could be held liable for accidents if they had cleared the pavements but had done so less than wholly effectively.


The law in Germany is that the owner of the property adjacent to any pavement (residential or commercial) is legally responsible for clearing it of snow and ice. The only exception is when there is there is a reasonable reason why they cannot (e.g. being disabled, not present etc). I think it would be a very good idea to introduce it in the UK as so few people bother (possibly due to the media misrepresentation that you mention).

Councils still have farmers on contract to use snow ploughs in emergencies - my father was previously one of them and one of my uncles is now signed up in another county. However, the snow is rarely deep enough in England to warrant their use (my father was never called to use his).


(This post was edited by Fanatic on Dec 21, 2011, 10:55 AM)

 
 


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