'Health and safety' leaves car parks icy
HARBOROUGH District Council has admitted leaving its icy car parks ungritted for 'health and safety reasons.'
The council said yesterday that it did not grit its car parks or other open spaces because of guidance from its health and safety and legal advisers.
It also admitted not having the resources to carry out widespread gritting.
The issue was brought to the Mail’s attention by letter writer Julie Orgill-Higgins, of Sandringham Way, Harborough, after she complained to the council on Tuesday.
She said she was told by the council that if they gritted and someone then fell they could be sued, but if they left the areas completely untreated they could not.
She said: “I thought your readers might be interested to know the reason why the car parks in town were not gritted as a matter of course during the freezing conditions.
“I spoke to the car park department to inquire why the car parks in town had not been gritted, seeing as the public have to pay to park there. The reason given was rather weak to say the least.”
A council spokesman told the Mail yesterday: “We do not grit car parks, based on guidance from our health and safety and legal advisers, as the public are expected to take reasonable precautions. Our parking enforcement officers do carry out daily inspections of car parks and we do have the option to close them if it is deemed there is a significant risk to safety.
“Unfortunately we do not have the budget or staff resources to grit all our open spaces, such as car parks, play areas and footpaths, across such a large district.”
The Mail asked the council to clarify what the health and safety and legal guidance was. We were directed to the Local Government Association but they said policy was a matter for individual councils.
On going back to HDC for further information the Mail was told “We are not able to get the legal information you require within your deadline.”
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Weather for Market Harborough
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 4 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: North west