LETTER: We all have a responsibility to shift snow

Despite Mr Bryan Thompson’s assurances on behalf of Pendle Council, a council litter-picker to whom I spoke about the difficulty of doing his job in Colne while the last fall of snow was quite fresh responded that it was a waste of time.

Saturday, 8th January 2011, 9:03 am

I suggest our response to the snow was less than adequate, and I do mean “our”.

When I had responsibility for the considerable frontage of Stanley House Veterinary Surgeons in Colne, I tried to arrive before the first of our clients after snow fell, and cleared and salted the pavements.

The amount of salt needed if the snow is first cleared is much reduced and, in the recent dry weather after the snowfall, if this had been done in Colne’s shopping centres the pavements would have not only been free of ice and snow but would soon have been almost dry, avoiding the ridiculous situation in some premises of mats being sodden and cardboard laid in a vain attempt to prevent the slush being trodden into the shops.

I am no fan of the Prime Minister or his Local Government Minister Eric Pickles, but I feel that if shopkeepers and business people had a stiff broom and a shovel handy next time it snows and got to work before opening time their customers would be grateful, and we should be spared the grit that now gets trodden into the shops and will settle in the drains when it does eventually rain.

Now just suppose we made the above suggestion a rule of trading.

Would someone from county or Government level tell us we couldn’t?

If we said we do not want artificial humps in the roads because they prevent snow-ploughs being deployed, who would tell us it wasn’t our place to say such things? If we agreed some routes should be parking-free in snowy weather to allow snow ploughs to work, would we be infringing civil liberties?

Our new MP now realises, if he didn’t before, that free-reign capitalism and the current system of local government is not able to keep this constituency up to civilised standards and we do need intervention from areas of society with more cash.

I hope he will continue to challenge the Government’s cuts, though he must see they are out of place for many other areas of Britain too.

A Happy New Year to all your readers and a wish that we shall all pull together in 2011.

PETER COPESTAKE

Castle Road, Colne.