Thursday, March 08, 2012

Man sues Leicester City Council after injuring himself putting up health and safety sign

The headline says it all.

Hurry over to the Leicester Mercury for our Story of the Day.


Charlieman said...

Note also: "The papers show £7,537 has been spent on tracking devices for the council's fleet of gritters, to monitor which of the city's road have been gritted.

It followed a claim from a member of the public who slipped and broke an arm on part of the city's highways network."

For £7,537, I presume that it is possible to track the journey of council owned gritters.

To determine whether a vehicle travelled along a road, whether grit was dispensed or whether it was dispensed effectively provide answers to different questions. After spending £7,537, with recurrent costs, will Leicester City Council guarantee that no citizen will fall over whilst crossing an icy road? Does Leicester City Council employ people to observe grit delivery cameras?

I know that I do not have enough information about this case. But my base instinct is that Leicester City Council may have created a dreadful precedent. That Acts of God must be mitigated by local authority action.

Gritting the road is a "best efforts" product. The workers have done their best, and any problems are your own.

(As a Leicester citizen, I have observed that no pavements near to me [two mile walk] have been gritted this year. Thanks, Leicester City Council. If I slip over, the cost of health care is a problem for the NHS.

It would be logical, therefore, to reduce the incidence of slippery pavements as part of holistic health care [NHS]. The NHS has immense experience of running gritting lorries, as we all know.

As a liberal, I assume that we have to look at the converse. That local authorities run health and road gritting. At this point we may despair that local authorities cannot be trusted to run health. The answer is that we give them many other powers, and that local democracy only exists when citizens assume that they can use it to change things.)

Charlieman said...

And another thing about Leicester City Council. It is another point about addressing/controlling behaviour without consideration for the underlying problem.

Leicester City Council officials erected notices in parks proclaiming that barbecues were banned. They stapled notices to trees because their message was so important.

Leicester City Council helps to run a comedy festival but citizens are not permitted to create their own jollity? Fun is a serious business? Fun requires a licence?

Leicester citizens are untrusted by their governors to buy a barbecue kit from the local garage and to use it to cook food in a park. If a barbecue kit is a problem in the open space of Abbey Park, it is surely a more serious peril in your back garden?

Leicester City Council proclaims to own and control its parks. That argument is certain to bite back.

And when (absolutely, when), citizens ignore your directives that public barbecues are prohibited, what are you going to do? Is it not easier to go with the flow and to provide barbecue disposal points?