Thursday, 2 December 2010

Miserable Grit

Right at the start of this year, I blogged about my experiences clearing and gritting the pavements of Worcester Park (well the bits in my road, anyway) and the fact that very few other citizens seemed to be doing much to help themselves and others.

Yesterday the pavements in WP were treacherously icey, so having fully Risk Assessed the situation I decided it was far far too dangerous for me to risk stepping out to grit the pavements so took the only sensible course of action - sending Mrs WP out to do it.

Out she trooped only to be set upon by a local busybody who told her it was illegal to use grit to clear pavements.

Then 'Saltless' contacted the Worcester Park Blog with a similar tale of grit rage:

"Being public spirited, I always clear the pavement outside my house (it's how I was brought up and wish to do it for as long as I can), and put salt / grit down to stop further snow settling - this is against they current urban myth, where many people believe, incorrectly, that they can be sued for doing this.


I've even done the same for elderly people who can't do it for themselves. I use salt from the council salt bins for this purpose, but this evening I came across someone who accused me of stealing the salt!

I wont go into too much detail, but suffice it to say that I felt bullied into returning the salt into the bin - net result the pavement outside my house cannot be cleared as I've run out of salt, and to do so without salting would definitely create a slip hazard and I could then be sued! The bins clearly state that the salt is for use by local residents for the pavements in the area, and this is confirmed by the website"

So we have turned from a town where few people can be bothered to do the public spirited thing to a town where those who do make the effort to try and make things safer for others get rounded on by their fellow citizens. 

I give up!

8 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Jack T said...

Whoever told you, that you were stealing deserves a large middle finger too the face, plus being told too call the Police if they think a crime has occured, flipping twats. Worcester Park is becoming full of people like this. I'm only 25 yet have steadily seen the population of Worcester Park become more pathetic and annoying day after day. It's sad too say but the community is nothing compared too what it used too be. Sadly giving the internet too bloody-pointless-good-for-nothing-moaners. Hasn't helped, and theres always been plenty of them, but they've rarely had such a voice or belief of self importance. Either way people shouldn't think even be thinking about complaining too the Police about neighbours or sueing them. They simply need too talk too them nicely, that is if they've ever learnt too talk nicely too neighbours, some people seem amazed that not all strangers are arseholes. On a good note, this snow is brilliant"!"!

Saltless in Worcester Park said...

Here Here.

I'm Saltless of Worcester Park - Thank you for giving this issue a greater profile - hope fully the residents of Worcester Park will get their shovels out and clear the pavement outside their houses - If we all do it, we all benefit. It's also the cheapest way to get some exercise, warm up, and feel better - you may even get to speak to someone (hopefully not the chap I met last night or MRs WP did yesterday) who you would not normally speak to.

Here's my story this morning ....... On my way to catch my delayed train, I came across someone helping an elderly lady across the road - she was struggling and using a walking stick. I offered my help and we carefully helped her walk down the pavement to Malden Manor station. She wanted to continue to the newsagent in the parade of shops. The other helper checked the trains, but had to get to work - I did too (If I don't go in I have to take time off), but decided that helping this lady was more important than driving my desk. We got to the newsagent and her important requirement was a copy of TV Choice which had come out today - this week's copy no less! This doesn't matter, it was important to her. I then walked back with her, supporting her - many people walked and drove past, but no offer of help. When I later phoned a colleague at work, he said that I needed "blinkers". Eventually a kind gentleman stopped and gave her a lift 100 mtrs uphill to her house, and we helped her to her door. I later found out that the trains were backed-up from Raynes Park, and had I got the one I missed, I would have got nowhere - as it is, I'm sitting here, catching up, had a nice sausage sandwich and coffee, but most important feel as I've done someone a good dead!

Minigee said...

Well done saltless. Most of us have elderly relatives, we should think of them when we see oldsters struggling, and stop to help just like you did. That way everyone would be taken care of.

coffee man said...

Where do these miserable people get their ideas from. I always considered it to be community spirit to help others.I have always cleared the pavement outside my house and put down grit which i have purchased.(Kingston Council doesn't always refill the local grit bin)which by the way residents can put on pavements and roads if they wish to do so.
If everybody cleared the pavements outside their houses life would be a lot easier and safer to get around.
Maybe the the coalition govt will bring in a bye law to make it compulsory for residents to clear snow, as in some european countries.
My big moan is where are the gritting lorries.Many of the side roads and pavements in Old Maldem are in a dangerous state.
Well done to all those who clear their local pavements.So Mr & Mrs WP get out there with the shovels and salt.

Saltless in Worcester Park said...

WP Blog - Can you please correct my typo - it should read DEED.

Thank you

SamanthaC said...

coffee man, I understand your wish to make people clear the pavements outside their homes, but a lot of those homes are occupied by the elderly, for whom such a law would clearly be inappropriate.
It's probably not a good idea to proscribe in law that any individual must perform a physically challenging act such as clearing the pavement of hard ice and snow.. it's likely to lead to falls and other accidents and end up draining the public purse with court cases: "you made me do this and now i've broken my leg" etc. You'd have to train and certify every homeowner in health & safety procedures!
It's annoying that there is no grit bin anywhere near my road though, certainly no gritting lorry has ever seen it either. The walk up to the high street might as well be an ice rink; maybe I'll ask my husband to get me those football shoes with spikes on the bottom for xmas, at least I'd be able to get to the shops without falling over!
Much respect for saltless and the blogger for lending their assistance to those less capable. My own Mum is partially disabled and it's good to know there are people out there who would help her when my Dad and I can't be there.

Ian Morris said...

Saltless, man-up a bit and don't take that crap from those fools. A salty snowball to the face of the person accusing you of stealing it should soon shut them up!

The Brinkster said...

Good old HM Government has a page devoted to the dos and don'ts of pavement snow clearing here:
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Nl1/Newsroom/DG_191868
and as an added bonus the Highway Code rules 228-231 discuss driving in snowy and icy conditions:
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Highwaycode/DG_069859

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