My letter in today's Guardian: before and after

Mark Pack letter in The GuardianHere’s the letter I wrote to The Guardian, a slightly shortened version of which appears in today’s paper:

Your editorial about the importance of gritting pavements (1st December) is a little unfair to the government. It is true that the White Paper on public health does not mention the issue, but the government has just issued advice reassuring people that the myths about how if you clear away snow you lay yourself open to being sued are just that, largely mythical. As a result, this year many councils are now encouraging people to take action outside their own homes rather than scaring them off.

What it does leave untouched though is the question of business: how many firms tell us they care about their local communities but then turn their back on snow and ice outside their doors and resolutely refuse to clean away any of it?

I’ll be out there gritting my pavement later this week once again no doubt, but businesses can and should play their part too.

2 responses to “My letter in today's Guardian: before and after”

  1. As an ex-retailer myself, on the rare occasions that it did snow, I would try to find a vaguely sensible hard flat “something” and shovel the snow away from the front of my shop.

    I was a rarity amongst the high street, but I knew it was good for the business to be the one with a clean pavement outside our shops.

    However, while people can clear a typical domestic path as they probably have a shovel at home for use in their garden, not many shops have a snow shovel sitting in their stockroom, or have the facilities to send someone out to buy one on the company expenses.

    It would be nice for retailers (etc) to be prepared for a snowfall outside their properties, and have a procedure/equipment in place to deal with it – but quite often that would take a directive from HQ, as shop staff will still be worried about lawsuits or being accused of time wasting.

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