Snow clearing - civic duty or civil action

on Thursday, 02 December 2010. Posted in N21 Community

To shovel or not to shovel - that is the question.

A local resident has contacted David Burrowes for clarification on whether there is any level foundation to the commonly held view that if you clear snow from the front of your house and then someone then slips, can you be held responsible?

To quote:

"This morning I was clearing the snow from the pavement outside my house in Grange Park Avenue when a passer-by advised me against the practice.  His suggestion was that by clearing the snow, I was assuming responsibility for the pavement from the local council and that if someone slipped on ice and injured themselves, they would have a basis for claiming against me.

I have no idea whether he had any legal basis for his observation or was simply a devoted reader of the Daily Mail.  However, this is not the first time I have heard this suggestion and I do wonder whether there is any truth in it or not.

Perhaps, with your legal background and in light of the probability of a "Winter of snow and ice" ahead of us, you might be able to advise me and if this silly disincentive to public service does exist, you could use your role as an MP to change it?"


Can anyone else shed any light on this?  If so email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will pass on your advice.

To shovel or not to shovel - that is the question.

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