BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin will pry your Klondike bar from your cold dead fingers.

calendar   Tuesday - November 18, 2008

UNSAFE AND UNWELCOME: COUNCIL BANS DOOR MATS.

If these are council homes, I can just about understand it.  It isn’t elf ‘n’ safety I bet.
It’s all about being sued should someone actually trip and get hurt.
Who owns the property? Ah, the city?  Lot-a-money there betcha.  S U E!!


Council bans welcome mats

Portsmouth News
By Rob Dabrowski

Residents in a block of flats have been told to get rid of welcome mats – because they are a trip hazard.
Council bureaucrats said the mats posed a ‘health and safety risk’.
And they have even threatened to take residents to court – with the threat of eviction – if their demands aren’t met.

Letters signed by Gosport housing officer Elspeth White were sent out after a council surveyor visited.

Three residents in Revenge House, at The Anchorage, Gosport, have been told to remove the rubber-backed mats as people could trip on them, particularly if they needed to leave in an emergency.

The council says the health risk is increased by narrow corridors.

Resident Ingrid Buckland, 62, has removed her mat for fear of the council taking action.

‘I just can’t understand all the fuss over these mats – it seems so futile,’ she said. ‘It’s just such a petty little thing and it has got out of hand.

‘I don’t know why the council is saying it might take action over a 99p doormat. I should think the council has bigger things to worry about than three doormats but I’ve moved mine because I don’t want to cause any trouble, it’s just not worth it.’

Gosport Borough Council says if the mats aren’t removed the tenants would be breaking the terms of their lease, which states no objects should be placed in communal area.

Officers will return later this month to check if mats have gone.
But the head of the council’s own housing board thinks it is over the top.

Cllr Keith Gill said: ‘I would be opposed to any kind of legal action. That would be heavy-handed.

‘This is sending out the wrong message and there are more important things that the council should be worrying about.’

Other council tenants in the borough could be sent letters if their mats are deemed to be dangerous.

But the council has not enforced a full ban, saying it would assess each mat on an individual basis.

Council spokeswoman Brenda Brooker said: ‘We, as a local authority and landlord, have a duty of care to all persons entering our communal areas and these should be free from any hazards or obstructions, likely to cause health and safety issues or prevent evacuation.

‘If people are aggrieved at the council’s decision that they should remove items which we consider pose a risk, we have a complaints procedure where they can ask for that decision to be reviewed.

‘Secondly, we would consider the health and safety risk that the particular problem presents and then would consider appropriate action, possibly involving legal action.’

Gosport council’s mat ban is the latest barmy health and safety regulation to be introduced, says the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Campaign director Mark Wallace said Britain was fast being turned into a nanny state with more and more mindless rules.

‘It is ridiculous that health and safety regulations have gone so far,’ he said.

‘If these safety officers don’t have anything better to do, then
clearly we have no need for them.

‘What started off as a national exercise in preventing serious harm has ended up as an exercise in how to boss people around.’

Tom Mullarkey, chief executive of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, was also against the mat ban.

He said: ‘The application of common sense and balance is much more reasonable than the seeking of mindless increments towards absolute safety.’

However, the council’s own Lib Dem-run administration has opposed the move.

Cllr Peter Chegwyn, chairman of the community and environment board, added: ‘There’s no question of us taking legal action over something this trivial.’

http://tinyurl.com/6pzbey


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 11/18/2008 at 01:05 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeUK •  
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