Public-spirited councillors told off for cleaning The Bridge in Taunton

Somerset County Gazette: Public-spirited councllors told off for cleaning The Bridge in Taunton Public-spirited councllors told off for cleaning The Bridge in Taunton

TWO volunteer councillors who cleaned The Bridge, in Taunton, with buckets of water and sponges have been told off in an “officious” letter – because they didn’t think about protecting passers-by.

Cllrs Jane Warmington and Catherine Herbert, of Taunton Deane Council, wanted to do their bit for the community when they donned their Marigolds and scrubbed the grime off some panels.

But Paul Tucker, Somerset County Council joint acting service manager (bridges/structures), took umbrage after reading about their public spiritedness in the County Gazette.

He wrote: “The works you carried out, whilst I appreciate were good intentioned, were unauthorised, as we, the owners of the structure, did not grant permission and we certainly do not want everyone to think they can just go and do what they like to our bridges.”

He asked whether they had considered protecting passing members of the public, potentially damaging paintwork or getting consent, telling them you cannot “just go ahead and do it”.

He added: “As the structure’s owner we should have been contacted and our permissions sought.

“We certainly do not want to encourage anyone to go and do things off their own back.”

Mr Tucker said the county is now talking to contractors about professionally cleaning The Bridge.

Mrs Warmington laughed off the rebuke, adding: “It could have been written in a more officer to councillor way rather than being so officious.

“Of course what we did was unauthorised, but I’m certainly not going to apologise and I’d do the same again.

“We’re not out to break rules – we just want to get things done.”

Mrs Warmington said negotiations are underway to see if councillors can complete the job.

Jack Hart, from The Freedom Association, said: “These two district councillors should have been applauded for giving up their own time and performing a public service which will have saved the county council money.

"Instead they've been criticised by an over-zealous officer who appears determined to waste public money.

"This is yet another example of local government officers ignoring common sense and entirely over-stepping the mark."

Andy Silvester, campaign manager at the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “The council allowing The Bridge to get so dirty that people felt the need to clean it is bad enough, but telling public-spirited people off for doing it is rubbing salt in the wound.”

A county council spokesman said the councillors were well-intentioned and apologised if they took offence at the letter.

But he added: “We do have a duty to make sure works (including cleaning) are carried out safely and properly while respecting any environmental or conservational issues.

“We’re pleased to say that a full clean of the bridge is planned and we have already taken steps to get the necessary consents for this.”

The Bridge was last cleaned in 2008 at a cost of £3,000.

The full email reads:

I have just seen the article in this week’s Somerset County Gazette, page 3, regarding yourselves carrying out cleaning works on a number of panels of Town Bridge in Taunton. I have attached a copy for your information. This article surprised me a little as I am currently in discussions with Cllr James Hunt regarding a full blown cleaning exercise for the bridge and am in the process of obtaining a quotation for these works.
The works you carried out, whilst I appreciate were good intentioned, were unauthorised, as we the owners of the structure, did not grant permission and we certainly do not want everyone to think they can just go and do what they like to our (SCC) bridges. Were any of the following points considered whilst carrying out your works
•       Protecting passing members of the public
•       Potentially damaging the paintwork on the bridge
•       Heritage consents/approval as the structure is listed
•       Environment Agency Consents.
Unfortunately we have to consider all of these aspects and many more when preparing our scheme and cannot “just go ahead and do it”. The article in the gazette could affect our good relationship with the Environment Agency and we have in the past and are currently planning cleaning the bridge using just fresh water. Whilst I note you used Ecover, a non-chemical plant and mineral based product rather than harmful chemicals we do not know where this is actually approved for use by the EA over or near to a watercourse.
The main point I am trying to get across is that as the structures owner we should have been contacted and our permissions sought. We certainly do not want to encourage anyone to go and do things off their own back.
Just as an update on our proposed works, I have secured Heritage approval and the EA have informed me that the works should not be a problem and consent will be granted, once they are in receipt of the application fee, currently going through the SAP system. Our contractors are currently obtaining a quotation for these works and as soon as it’s available it will be sent through to James.

Comments (14)

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7:06am Thu 12 Jun 14

Concerned Taunton says...

They are not volunteer councillors - they are paid executive councillors with official management responsibility who voted to approve the £3 Castle Green project and other wasted expenditure. Councillor Herbert is the lead councillor pushing through the £5 million Blackbrook swimming pool project... so no wonder there's no cash for duties we expect from our council - such as cleaning and grass cutting.

Perhaps John Williams should get on his hands and knees and clean the already dirty Castle Castle Green. Whilst there, asking for some public forgiveness for the unnecessary project and loss of car parking would be appreciated.
They are not volunteer councillors - they are paid executive councillors with official management responsibility who voted to approve the £3 Castle Green project and other wasted expenditure. Councillor Herbert is the lead councillor pushing through the £5 million Blackbrook swimming pool project... so no wonder there's no cash for duties we expect from our council - such as cleaning and grass cutting. Perhaps John Williams should get on his hands and knees and clean the already dirty Castle Castle Green. Whilst there, asking for some public forgiveness for the unnecessary project and loss of car parking would be appreciated. Concerned Taunton
  • Score: 27

12:12pm Thu 12 Jun 14

topcataj says...

If people want to be able to 'just do stuff' they need to not get their knickers in a twist when things go wrong. Had something gone wrong, who would've been liable? Probably the people responsible for the bridge? i.e. not the Councillors...
Unfortunately all these rules about what can be done when and where come about in attempts to stop bad things happening, whether this be damaging a historic structure, injuring people/animals, harming the environment or whatever else.
They would be the first ones to cry foul if something bad happened while a contractor was doing some work, but don't see the problem when they do it themselves.

I'm aware of other situations where Councillor Herbert hasn't cared about the people affected by actions that she was responsible for yet was quite happy to get her face photographed when work was finally completed and she wanted a positive spin on it all.
If people want to be able to 'just do stuff' they need to not get their knickers in a twist when things go wrong. Had something gone wrong, who would've been liable? Probably the people responsible for the bridge? i.e. not the Councillors... Unfortunately all these rules about what can be done when and where come about in attempts to stop bad things happening, whether this be damaging a historic structure, injuring people/animals, harming the environment or whatever else. They would be the first ones to cry foul if something bad happened while a contractor was doing some work, but don't see the problem when they do it themselves. I'm aware of other situations where Councillor Herbert hasn't cared about the people affected by actions that she was responsible for yet was quite happy to get her face photographed when work was finally completed and she wanted a positive spin on it all. topcataj
  • Score: 4

4:23pm Thu 12 Jun 14

Gypchic says...

What about in 1971/75 when painters were painting same bridge at 6 in the morning! Before the dew was even dry at least these ladies cleaned it during the day and never known anyone hurt by soap and water.
What about in 1971/75 when painters were painting same bridge at 6 in the morning! Before the dew was even dry at least these ladies cleaned it during the day and never known anyone hurt by soap and water. Gypchic
  • Score: 16

6:57pm Thu 12 Jun 14

Thurza says...

Pathetic, there is always a Jobsworth these days who has to put a downer on everything, I think it's great to see people getting involved, I'm sick of this 'health and safety' where if anything goes wrong, who can we sue culture which now exists. I doubt if any one can come to too much harm with a bucket of soap and water.
Pathetic, there is always a Jobsworth these days who has to put a downer on everything, I think it's great to see people getting involved, I'm sick of this 'health and safety' where if anything goes wrong, who can we sue culture which now exists. I doubt if any one can come to too much harm with a bucket of soap and water. Thurza
  • Score: 13

10:08pm Thu 12 Jun 14

GreatOdin'sRaven says...

The only thing this article leaves me thinking is: The person sending the email said he saw the original article in the Gazette. So you'd have to wonder how much less polite his follow-up email's going to be after seeing this...
The only thing this article leaves me thinking is: The person sending the email said he saw the original article in the Gazette. So you'd have to wonder how much less polite his follow-up email's going to be after seeing this... GreatOdin'sRaven
  • Score: 8

9:47am Fri 13 Jun 14

Reallycycle says...

This was no more than a badly planned publicity stunt. If the so called ‘public spirited’ councillors wanted to help, why didn't they clean the whole bridge? Doing just a couple of panels makes the bridge look worse, not better. The soap that they used that might be harmless to small babies, but it could be lethal to some species in the river. Hence the need for regulation. If they really wanted to make a difference to the community they would have gone about their actions in the correct way and done the job properly.
This was no more than a badly planned publicity stunt. If the so called ‘public spirited’ councillors wanted to help, why didn't they clean the whole bridge? Doing just a couple of panels makes the bridge look worse, not better. The soap that they used that might be harmless to small babies, but it could be lethal to some species in the river. Hence the need for regulation. If they really wanted to make a difference to the community they would have gone about their actions in the correct way and done the job properly. Reallycycle
  • Score: 6

2:18pm Fri 13 Jun 14

SocialistParty*SomersetBranch says...

While low pay and the pay freeze are a major issue for public sector workers, job cuts are increasingly a threat. 450,000 council jobs have gone in England alone since 2010, a 17% cut in the workforce.

A survey has revealed that 40 councils alone are planning another £700 million of cuts with 18,000 more jobs to go.

What councils can't cut or shut, they are looking to privatise. A staggering £1.5 billion of services has been handed over to the profiteers in the last three months. In Bromley for example, the chief executive aims to reduce the 4,000 directly employed workers to 300. How long before a similar attack is attempted at Somerset County Council?

Unison members have been fighting for the leadership to act on their promise to take action on pay and are now being balloted for action. There is the potential for much-needed coordinated action on 10 July.

Strategy

Members will also demand to know the union's political and industrial strategy to defeat these cuts. But the union's national conference has been barred from debating the strategy on cuts put forward by my branch and others.

Councils sit on £20 billion in reserves and they have access to borrowing at cheap rates so we called for Unison to demand that "councils set a one year balanced budget using reserves and borrowing to guarantee no cuts in jobs and services and then for councils to use this time to launch a joint campaign with the workers and community to demand the return of the £7.6 billion stolen from the councils by the Con-Dems".

Surely Unison members have a right to demand it of Labour councils - given we hand Labour £3 million a year. But this proposal will not only not be debated, it couldn't even be printed on the agenda. Why? Because according to the Unison leadership setting a lawful balanced budget using reserves and borrowing is "illegal".

Daylight robbery

The Unison leadership was "particularly concerned" that we referred to money having been "stolen" from councils by the Con-Dem government! From where many workers are sitting; on the front line, it's daylight robbery!

At the moment Unison's strategy appears to amount to leaving branches to fight the avalanche of cuts alone. This is a strategy that is clearly failing.

In an attempt to address this, Bromley branch put up a motion calling on the union to lodge a claim for a guarantee of no redundancies to the national local government employers.

Bromley branch said, if they refused then we would have a national trade dispute and could have a national strike against cuts. This was ruled out of order as it was calling for 'illegal action'! When I then amended the position to say we should seek legal advice to see if it was possible, even this was ruled out.

The reality is the UNISON leadership has no strategy to defeat the cuts other than to wait for a Labour government. Any hope that a Labour government will bail us out is pure fantasy and they know it.

Last week the Labour shadow minister for Local Government Chris Leslie made clear what's in store for local government if Labour wins the next election when he openly said that "we won't be able to undo the cuts".

That's because a Labour government has pledged to stick to the Tory spending cuts that will see the job slaughter rise to 1.2 million by 2018.


www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
While low pay and the pay freeze are a major issue for public sector workers, job cuts are increasingly a threat. 450,000 council jobs have gone in England alone since 2010, a 17% cut in the workforce. A survey has revealed that 40 councils alone are planning another £700 million of cuts with 18,000 more jobs to go. What councils can't cut or shut, they are looking to privatise. A staggering £1.5 billion of services has been handed over to the profiteers in the last three months. In Bromley for example, the chief executive aims to reduce the 4,000 directly employed workers to 300. How long before a similar attack is attempted at Somerset County Council? Unison members have been fighting for the leadership to act on their promise to take action on pay and are now being balloted for action. There is the potential for much-needed coordinated action on 10 July. Strategy Members will also demand to know the union's political and industrial strategy to defeat these cuts. But the union's national conference has been barred from debating the strategy on cuts put forward by my branch and others. Councils sit on £20 billion in reserves and they have access to borrowing at cheap rates so we called for Unison to demand that "councils set a one year balanced budget using reserves and borrowing to guarantee no cuts in jobs and services and then for councils to use this time to launch a joint campaign with the workers and community to demand the return of the £7.6 billion stolen from the councils by the Con-Dems". Surely Unison members have a right to demand it of Labour councils - given we hand Labour £3 million a year. But this proposal will not only not be debated, it couldn't even be printed on the agenda. Why? Because according to the Unison leadership setting a lawful balanced budget using reserves and borrowing is "illegal". Daylight robbery The Unison leadership was "particularly concerned" that we referred to money having been "stolen" from councils by the Con-Dem government! From where many workers are sitting; on the front line, it's daylight robbery! At the moment Unison's strategy appears to amount to leaving branches to fight the avalanche of cuts alone. This is a strategy that is clearly failing. In an attempt to address this, Bromley branch put up a motion calling on the union to lodge a claim for a guarantee of no redundancies to the national local government employers. Bromley branch said, if they refused then we would have a national trade dispute and could have a national strike against cuts. This was ruled out of order as it was calling for 'illegal action'! When I then amended the position to say we should seek legal advice to see if it was possible, even this was ruled out. The reality is the UNISON leadership has no strategy to defeat the cuts other than to wait for a Labour government. Any hope that a Labour government will bail us out is pure fantasy and they know it. Last week the Labour shadow minister for Local Government Chris Leslie made clear what's in store for local government if Labour wins the next election when he openly said that "we won't be able to undo the cuts". That's because a Labour government has pledged to stick to the Tory spending cuts that will see the job slaughter rise to 1.2 million by 2018. www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty*SomersetBranch
  • Score: -12

2:37pm Fri 13 Jun 14

KevinTurvey says...

I usually clear weeds and grit from the lay-by outside our flat - will I now have to cone off the area first and wear hi-vis waistcoat?
I usually clear weeds and grit from the lay-by outside our flat - will I now have to cone off the area first and wear hi-vis waistcoat? KevinTurvey
  • Score: 6

3:32pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Mi_Coc says...

Reallycycle wrote:
This was no more than a badly planned publicity stunt. If the so called ‘public spirited’ councillors wanted to help, why didn't they clean the whole bridge? Doing just a couple of panels makes the bridge look worse, not better. The soap that they used that might be harmless to small babies, but it could be lethal to some species in the river. Hence the need for regulation. If they really wanted to make a difference to the community they would have gone about their actions in the correct way and done the job properly.
Exactly if they had a clue they would of sort approval to do so and got advice on how to do it properly.

Lots you agree with our health and safety /regulated society it is what it is.

English heritage may well go bananas if they find out they have rubbing a protected structure with fairy or mr muscle. As said you have to be careful what chemicals you use near a water course and sometimes have approval from the EA. They did not have a safe area of wok ie member of the public might of tripped over their bucket. Loads of considerations to do this properly but they were never bothered about that it was lets get some publcity!
[quote][p][bold]Reallycycle[/bold] wrote: This was no more than a badly planned publicity stunt. If the so called ‘public spirited’ councillors wanted to help, why didn't they clean the whole bridge? Doing just a couple of panels makes the bridge look worse, not better. The soap that they used that might be harmless to small babies, but it could be lethal to some species in the river. Hence the need for regulation. If they really wanted to make a difference to the community they would have gone about their actions in the correct way and done the job properly.[/p][/quote]Exactly if they had a clue they would of sort approval to do so and got advice on how to do it properly. Lots you agree with our health and safety /regulated society it is what it is. English heritage may well go bananas if they find out they have rubbing a protected structure with fairy or mr muscle. As said you have to be careful what chemicals you use near a water course and sometimes have approval from the EA. They did not have a safe area of wok ie member of the public might of tripped over their bucket. Loads of considerations to do this properly but they were never bothered about that it was lets get some publcity! Mi_Coc
  • Score: -7

3:19pm Sun 15 Jun 14

Freetalk says...

SocialistParty*Somer
setBranch
wrote:
While low pay and the pay freeze are a major issue for public sector workers, job cuts are increasingly a threat. 450,000 council jobs have gone in England alone since 2010, a 17% cut in the workforce.

A survey has revealed that 40 councils alone are planning another £700 million of cuts with 18,000 more jobs to go.

What councils can't cut or shut, they are looking to privatise. A staggering £1.5 billion of services has been handed over to the profiteers in the last three months. In Bromley for example, the chief executive aims to reduce the 4,000 directly employed workers to 300. How long before a similar attack is attempted at Somerset County Council?

Unison members have been fighting for the leadership to act on their promise to take action on pay and are now being balloted for action. There is the potential for much-needed coordinated action on 10 July.

Strategy

Members will also demand to know the union's political and industrial strategy to defeat these cuts. But the union's national conference has been barred from debating the strategy on cuts put forward by my branch and others.

Councils sit on £20 billion in reserves and they have access to borrowing at cheap rates so we called for Unison to demand that "councils set a one year balanced budget using reserves and borrowing to guarantee no cuts in jobs and services and then for councils to use this time to launch a joint campaign with the workers and community to demand the return of the £7.6 billion stolen from the councils by the Con-Dems".

Surely Unison members have a right to demand it of Labour councils - given we hand Labour £3 million a year. But this proposal will not only not be debated, it couldn't even be printed on the agenda. Why? Because according to the Unison leadership setting a lawful balanced budget using reserves and borrowing is "illegal".

Daylight robbery

The Unison leadership was "particularly concerned" that we referred to money having been "stolen" from councils by the Con-Dem government! From where many workers are sitting; on the front line, it's daylight robbery!

At the moment Unison's strategy appears to amount to leaving branches to fight the avalanche of cuts alone. This is a strategy that is clearly failing.

In an attempt to address this, Bromley branch put up a motion calling on the union to lodge a claim for a guarantee of no redundancies to the national local government employers.

Bromley branch said, if they refused then we would have a national trade dispute and could have a national strike against cuts. This was ruled out of order as it was calling for 'illegal action'! When I then amended the position to say we should seek legal advice to see if it was possible, even this was ruled out.

The reality is the UNISON leadership has no strategy to defeat the cuts other than to wait for a Labour government. Any hope that a Labour government will bail us out is pure fantasy and they know it.

Last week the Labour shadow minister for Local Government Chris Leslie made clear what's in store for local government if Labour wins the next election when he openly said that "we won't be able to undo the cuts".

That's because a Labour government has pledged to stick to the Tory spending cuts that will see the job slaughter rise to 1.2 million by 2018.


www.socialistparty.o

rg.uk
???? You can't just place these quotes into story's and hope they fit, what did all this waffle have to do with the bridge story.
[quote][p][bold]SocialistParty*Somer setBranch[/bold] wrote: While low pay and the pay freeze are a major issue for public sector workers, job cuts are increasingly a threat. 450,000 council jobs have gone in England alone since 2010, a 17% cut in the workforce. A survey has revealed that 40 councils alone are planning another £700 million of cuts with 18,000 more jobs to go. What councils can't cut or shut, they are looking to privatise. A staggering £1.5 billion of services has been handed over to the profiteers in the last three months. In Bromley for example, the chief executive aims to reduce the 4,000 directly employed workers to 300. How long before a similar attack is attempted at Somerset County Council? Unison members have been fighting for the leadership to act on their promise to take action on pay and are now being balloted for action. There is the potential for much-needed coordinated action on 10 July. Strategy Members will also demand to know the union's political and industrial strategy to defeat these cuts. But the union's national conference has been barred from debating the strategy on cuts put forward by my branch and others. Councils sit on £20 billion in reserves and they have access to borrowing at cheap rates so we called for Unison to demand that "councils set a one year balanced budget using reserves and borrowing to guarantee no cuts in jobs and services and then for councils to use this time to launch a joint campaign with the workers and community to demand the return of the £7.6 billion stolen from the councils by the Con-Dems". Surely Unison members have a right to demand it of Labour councils - given we hand Labour £3 million a year. But this proposal will not only not be debated, it couldn't even be printed on the agenda. Why? Because according to the Unison leadership setting a lawful balanced budget using reserves and borrowing is "illegal". Daylight robbery The Unison leadership was "particularly concerned" that we referred to money having been "stolen" from councils by the Con-Dem government! From where many workers are sitting; on the front line, it's daylight robbery! At the moment Unison's strategy appears to amount to leaving branches to fight the avalanche of cuts alone. This is a strategy that is clearly failing. In an attempt to address this, Bromley branch put up a motion calling on the union to lodge a claim for a guarantee of no redundancies to the national local government employers. Bromley branch said, if they refused then we would have a national trade dispute and could have a national strike against cuts. This was ruled out of order as it was calling for 'illegal action'! When I then amended the position to say we should seek legal advice to see if it was possible, even this was ruled out. The reality is the UNISON leadership has no strategy to defeat the cuts other than to wait for a Labour government. Any hope that a Labour government will bail us out is pure fantasy and they know it. Last week the Labour shadow minister for Local Government Chris Leslie made clear what's in store for local government if Labour wins the next election when he openly said that "we won't be able to undo the cuts". That's because a Labour government has pledged to stick to the Tory spending cuts that will see the job slaughter rise to 1.2 million by 2018. www.socialistparty.o rg.uk[/p][/quote]???? You can't just place these quotes into story's and hope they fit, what did all this waffle have to do with the bridge story. Freetalk
  • Score: 6

5:17pm Tue 17 Jun 14

somersetvoyager says...

Citizens vs Councils...

Q. Can we clean our showpiece bridge please?
A. No, leave it alone, it's not yours.

Q. Can we have our grass verges cut please?
A. No, do it yourself.
Citizens vs Councils... Q. Can we clean our showpiece bridge please? A. No, leave it alone, it's not yours. Q. Can we have our grass verges cut please? A. No, do it yourself. somersetvoyager
  • Score: 3

12:18am Wed 18 Jun 14

TigerTigerBurningBright says...

Mi_Coc wrote:
Reallycycle wrote:
This was no more than a badly planned publicity stunt. If the so called ‘public spirited’ councillors wanted to help, why didn't they clean the whole bridge? Doing just a couple of panels makes the bridge look worse, not better. The soap that they used that might be harmless to small babies, but it could be lethal to some species in the river. Hence the need for regulation. If they really wanted to make a difference to the community they would have gone about their actions in the correct way and done the job properly.
Exactly if they had a clue they would of sort approval to do so and got advice on how to do it properly.

Lots you agree with our health and safety /regulated society it is what it is.

English heritage may well go bananas if they find out they have rubbing a protected structure with fairy or mr muscle. As said you have to be careful what chemicals you use near a water course and sometimes have approval from the EA. They did not have a safe area of wok ie member of the public might of tripped over their bucket. Loads of considerations to do this properly but they were never bothered about that it was lets get some publcity!
I'm always careful to have a safe area of wok. But I still get grease splashes on the cooker top.
[quote][p][bold]Mi_Coc[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Reallycycle[/bold] wrote: This was no more than a badly planned publicity stunt. If the so called ‘public spirited’ councillors wanted to help, why didn't they clean the whole bridge? Doing just a couple of panels makes the bridge look worse, not better. The soap that they used that might be harmless to small babies, but it could be lethal to some species in the river. Hence the need for regulation. If they really wanted to make a difference to the community they would have gone about their actions in the correct way and done the job properly.[/p][/quote]Exactly if they had a clue they would of sort approval to do so and got advice on how to do it properly. Lots you agree with our health and safety /regulated society it is what it is. English heritage may well go bananas if they find out they have rubbing a protected structure with fairy or mr muscle. As said you have to be careful what chemicals you use near a water course and sometimes have approval from the EA. They did not have a safe area of wok ie member of the public might of tripped over their bucket. Loads of considerations to do this properly but they were never bothered about that it was lets get some publcity![/p][/quote]I'm always careful to have a safe area of wok. But I still get grease splashes on the cooker top. TigerTigerBurningBright
  • Score: -1

9:52am Wed 18 Jun 14

Mi_Coc says...

somersetvoyager wrote:
Citizens vs Councils...

Q. Can we clean our showpiece bridge please?
A. No, leave it alone, it's not yours.

Q. Can we have our grass verges cut please?
A. No, do it yourself.
Both open up issues the bridge is over a an ea water course and may be home to protected species. It is also a heritage feature so you cant let councilors with marigolds and fairy loose on it, it an old structure and needs to be carefully preserved. Did they carry out a risk assessment no! Did they have COSH sheets for any chemicals and cleaning agents they were using. You also need EA permission and to notify them. They can in some cases ask for ecologists to be present at your costs.

Abit of grass on ore adjacent to a public footpath is a different kettle of fish however there are still issues.


If your cutting grass do you have public liability insurance encase a member of the public gets injured or a stone flys and hots a car etc. The council do!

There removal of the grass cuttings could be classed as waste, the council have a legal obligation to control and know the movements of their waste. Does the private individual have a waste carriers licence and able to provide the council with waste transfers notes.

We live in a highly regulated health and safety rules world this are just some of considerations that need to be thought out. If you ever wondered why it costs so much money there is your answer the regulation is OTT!
[quote][p][bold]somersetvoyager[/bold] wrote: Citizens vs Councils... Q. Can we clean our showpiece bridge please? A. No, leave it alone, it's not yours. Q. Can we have our grass verges cut please? A. No, do it yourself.[/p][/quote]Both open up issues the bridge is over a an ea water course and may be home to protected species. It is also a heritage feature so you cant let councilors with marigolds and fairy loose on it, it an old structure and needs to be carefully preserved. Did they carry out a risk assessment no! Did they have COSH sheets for any chemicals and cleaning agents they were using. You also need EA permission and to notify them. They can in some cases ask for ecologists to be present at your costs. Abit of grass on ore adjacent to a public footpath is a different kettle of fish however there are still issues. If your cutting grass do you have public liability insurance encase a member of the public gets injured or a stone flys and hots a car etc. The council do! There removal of the grass cuttings could be classed as waste, the council have a legal obligation to control and know the movements of their waste. Does the private individual have a waste carriers licence and able to provide the council with waste transfers notes. We live in a highly regulated health and safety rules world this are just some of considerations that need to be thought out. If you ever wondered why it costs so much money there is your answer the regulation is OTT! Mi_Coc
  • Score: 0

10:53am Wed 18 Jun 14

Mi_Coc says...

Just as an aside to the concerns over the cleaner used.

If the river is home to a protected species the potential fines can be massive.

I worked on a bridge deck realignment and widening last year. We had to pay a team of ecologist £8k to clean and coat any equipment that entered the water cross. They had to move over 100 red claw crayfish from nuder the bridge and build temporary refuges for them.

These are a protected species and you can be find £100, 000 for killing just killing one of them by the EA.
Just as an aside to the concerns over the cleaner used. If the river is home to a protected species the potential fines can be massive. I worked on a bridge deck realignment and widening last year. We had to pay a team of ecologist £8k to clean and coat any equipment that entered the water cross. They had to move over 100 red claw crayfish from nuder the bridge and build temporary refuges for them. These are a protected species and you can be find £100, 000 for killing just killing one of them by the EA. Mi_Coc
  • Score: 0

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