Need for radical snow rethink

PUBLISHED: 14:26 07 January 2011

I have sent the following letter to East Devon District Council:

I am writing to you today to complain, after a visit to my in-laws in Exmouth for the festive period, about the lack of snow-clearing and gritting of the pavements in and around the town.

Also, to find the main underpass on the Marine Way was not treated was shocking. This underpass is used every day by lots of people to cross the very busy main road.

The underpass is made up of both steps and ramps and it was a disagrace for no grit to have been spread. How are people with disabilities to get up and down an icy ramp?

I am 43 years old and I found it hard just to keep up-right while walking around the town. My father-in-law was less lucky and did take a tumble due to the hazardous conditions, but, luckily, just winded himself. However, at at his age, in his mid-seventies, it could have been a lot worse and does not bear thinking of.

Due to people retiring to this beautiful part of Devon, a majority of the population of the town are going to be elderly and it is hard for them to deal with these conditions.

For example, if one partner is more able-bodied than the other and has to go out in these conditions and slips and breaks a hip, then this has a follow-on effect.

They may end up having to go into care to be looked after rather than staying in their own home, especially if there is no other family.

This kind of scenario, and others like it, seem to be have been forgotten when you put together your annual budgets and policies. Some practical thinking needs to be brought back to the table.

Surely council street-cleaning staff could have been sent out with shovels and wheelbarrows of grit to clear the snow and spread grit onto all the pavements - and I mean all the pavements, not just main shopping area ones?

If these extreme weather conditions are set to continue over the years, as forecast, I hope to see a radical change in your and other councils’ thinking as to how to deal with these conditions.

Mrs Aileen Low,

of Berkshire,

(A very disappointed

daughter-in-law

of an Exmothian.)

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