Snow joke! Brighton and Hove councillor clears away urban myth

Posted On 10 Jan 2010 at 8:10 pm

A Brighton and Hove councillor has reassured conscientious residents that it is legally safe to clear snow from outside their homes.

Paul Elgood, the Liberal Democrat councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide on Brighton and Hove City Council, gave the reassurance on his blog.

He is among a number of councillors to have been asked whether clearing snow and ice from outside a property could lead to a legal claim.

He wrote: “I love urban myths, and this is one of the biggest.

Spacewords Brighton

“An interesting legal clarification suggests that clearing the snow is unlikely to give rise to legal liability.

“The claimant would have to show that:

  1. The way the householder tried to clear the ice created or made the situation worse
  2. The injury sustained was the result of the actions of the householder and not just snow/ice
  3. The actions of the householder were not what one would expect a reasonable householder to have undertaken
  4. It was reasonably foreseeable that their action would cause damage or injury to passers by

“It is therefore unlikely that any such claims would succeed.”

He also used his Brunswick Blog to praise the suspension of parking enforcement on the streets of Brighton and Hove and the use of traffic wardens to help grit the streets.

He said: “The city’s parking enforcement officers have been used in snow clearance operations.

“This is the first time they have been used for operations outside of the parking contract.

“The move came after the council confirmed that parking enforcement has been suspended due to the weather conditions.

“I emailed the Director of Environment yesterday to request that this is considered, and was grateful for a helpful response.

“With members of staff from CityClean being deployed on the snow effort, surely the parking enforcement officers should also be made available?

“Their help at this time could be invaluable.

“The parking contract is currently undertaken externally by a private company.

“However, these officers still should be working for the greater good of the city in such emergency situations.

“Beyond the basic enforcement process there is little community gain from the parking contract.

“We’ve always argued that these officers could make a very positive contribution to the wider community in the same way as PCSOs have for the police.

“They could become the eyes and ears of the council, reporting problems and helping residents and visitors.

“Getting them involved in the vital snow effort could be part of this.

“I really think that residents and business would appreciate this, it would go down very well and help improve public confidence in the parking enforcement service.”

  1. Avangelist Reply

    Wish they would make sure these sort of announcements get out on all forms of press, it seems if it isn’t on TV then people don’t pay attention.

    It’s about time this city started remember ‘community’ and just get on and do it. Even as recent as 20yrs ago this sort of thing wouldn’t be a problem because residents would be out there getting on with it.

    My street, along with thousands of others is littered with week old refuse tonight, yet main streets, or arteries are cleared.

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