• Our booking engine at tickets.railforums.co.uk (powered by TrainSplit) helps support the running of the forum with every ticket purchase! Find out more and ask any questions/give us feedback in this thread!

Sweeping the street outside your house

Am I an idiot?


  • Total voters
    39
Status
Not open for further replies.

DelayRepay

Established Member
Joined
21 May 2011
Messages
2,929
Morning,

When I went for my paper this morning, I noticed there was a broken bottle in the road. So I went back to my house and fetched the brush and pan and an old cardboard box.

As I set to work, one of my neighbours shouted out of his window: "Don't worry about that, I've already phoned the council." I said I may as well finish since I'd started (and thought the council were unlikely to do anything about it, especially on a bank holiday).

I was being slightly selfish because I will drive my car along that piece of street later and would rather not drive over broken glass. But my neighbour concluded with "You're an idiot. We pay enough council tax, let them earn it."

So my simple question - was I an idiot for sweeping broken glass up, or should we do things like this to help keep our neighbourhoods clean and tidy?

(I know someone who regularly washes the road signs outside his house - I won't go that far!!)
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Trog

Established Member
Joined
30 Oct 2009
Messages
1,546
Location
In Retirement.
Clearing up an isolated obvious hazard out side your house is only good manners, But while I would do the same myself because I like to feel that I am a good public spirited sort of chap, I would not feel that I was under any obligation to do so. Hence why doing it would demonstrate the better side of my nature, and allow me to feel good about myself.
 

Cowley

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Global Moderator
Joined
15 Apr 2016
Messages
16,095
Location
Devon
I would've done the same. I've got a leaf blower that I use for blowing dust off houses when I'm painting. It makes cleaning pavements etc fun. You could blow all the stuff from your bit of pavement down to his (he said the council are coming to clean it anyway).
 

cb a1

Member
Joined
9 Mar 2015
Messages
363
Somewhere along the line I feel that many people have lost sight of the purpose that we have a council.

The Council, in my eyes, are employed by us when they can do things more efficiently than what we, as a disparate collection of individuals, can do for ourselves.

For example, if we didn't have waste collection, we'd all be burning our rubbish in our gardens or all individually travelling to some central location to get rid of our rubbish. By pooling our resources, we can hire a group of people, some vehicles, etc. to collect all our waste and dispose of it efficiently.

Getting the council in to remove some broken glass is thus, in my eyes, perverse as it is far less efficient than an individual undertaking the task.

It's like the boss walking past the photocopier with a sheet of paper to ask an admin person to photocopy it, because 'that's their job'.
 

Cowley

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Global Moderator
Joined
15 Apr 2016
Messages
16,095
Location
Devon
Somewhere along the line I feel that many people have lost sight of the purpose that we have a council.

The Council, in my eyes, are employed by us when they can do things more efficiently than what we, as a disparate collection of individuals, can do for ourselves.

For example, if we didn't have waste collection, we'd all be burning our rubbish in our gardens or all individually travelling to some central location to get rid of our rubbish. By pooling our resources, we can hire a group of people, some vehicles, etc. to collect all our waste and dispose of it efficiently.

Getting the council in to remove some broken glass is thus, in my eyes, perverse as it is far less efficient than an individual undertaking the task.

It's like the boss walking past the photocopier with a sheet of paper to ask an admin person to photocopy it, because 'that's their job'.

Couldn't agree more.
If someone comes out in a van to pick that up then the tax payer is paying for it. It's not the end of the world getting a dustpan and brush out and taking one minute out of your life to deal with it.
If it was something like used needles then obviously that would be different.
 

SS4

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2011
Messages
8,589
Location
Birmingham
Not at all, your neighbour is wasting council time especially for reporting something trivial outside of office hours.

As long as it's safe and proper precautions are taken it's far easier to do it yourself
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
98,850
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
I don't "sweep the street", as the Council do that sufficiently for me not to need to, but I do collect litter when out and about near my house. If everyone did[1], it'd be a far nicer place to live.

[1] Or just didn't drop it, but sometimes it's not deliberate, e.g. our rubbish is still collected in black bags (we want wheelie bins!) and so sometimes cats/rats break the bags open etc.
 

me123

Established Member
Joined
9 Jul 2007
Messages
8,510
You're absolutely not an idiot. It wouldn't occur to me to phone the council, not least because it would probably have taken me more time to get through to someone than it would to sweep it up in the first place. It wouldn't occur to me to undertake regular maintenance (the council should be doing that), but responding to something that does pose a real risk is just common sense surely?

A few years ago I was in New York during a polar vortex (18" snowfall in 2h) the city remained remarkably unaffected. This was in no small part because New Yorkers were out on the streets sweeping the snow around their shops/front doors. Not much effort to clear a few feet of sidewalk, but when everyone does it the city is clear. Compare and contrast to one inch of snowfall in Glasgow, which I understand caused a 20% absence rate amongst staff at one major hospital and relentless whinging about lack of snowploughs and gritters. The difference was astounding. In no small part, I believe that this is due to the reliance upon the council. In the UK, I saw no-one clear any snow aside from their own driveway, but in New York the city's snowploughs were supported by a definite local effort and I think that's what made a big difference. I think it was mostly egotistical (I want to keep my shop open), but nevertheless it happened. There was still whinging in New York (the news sent out roving reporters in their cars), but life went on. It was much more measured than I'd seen in Scotland. Glasgow's much smaller flurry of snow caused major issues and dominated the evening's news (and England's no better!), although I would also agree that the winter response from the state will be superior in NY in the first place due to the frequency of severe winter weather.

I think we have somewhat lost a sense of community responsibility in recent years. I would agree with the above sentiments that no-one should be obligated to undertake these tasks, but I think it is quite sad that so many people expect someone else to do it for them.
 

507021

Established Member
Joined
19 Feb 2015
Messages
4,737
Location
Chester
I have swept the street outside my house once before, however that was to clean up dust and debris left after a skip we had outside (a builder was using it to dispose of rubble and other waste from our garden) was collected.
 

Kite159

Veteran Member
Joined
27 Jan 2014
Messages
19,550
Location
West of Andover
I would have done the same.

Although the local council only sweeps the roads around this village twice a year
 

Busaholic

Veteran Member
Joined
7 Jun 2014
Messages
14,411
You're absolutely not an idiot. It wouldn't occur to me to phone the council, not least because it would probably have taken me more time to get through to someone than it would to sweep it up in the first place. It wouldn't occur to me to undertake regular maintenance (the council should be doing that), but responding to something that does pose a real risk is just common sense surely?

A few years ago I was in New York during a polar vortex (18" snowfall in 2h) the city remained remarkably unaffected. This was in no small part because New Yorkers were out on the streets sweeping the snow around their shops/front doors. Not much effort to clear a few feet of sidewalk, but when everyone does it the city is clear. Compare and contrast to one inch of snowfall in Glasgow, which I understand caused a 20% absence rate amongst staff at one major hospital and relentless whinging about lack of snowploughs and gritters. The difference was astounding. In no small part, I believe that this is due to the reliance upon the council. In the UK, I saw no-one clear any snow aside from their own driveway, but in New York the city's snowploughs were supported by a definite local effort and I think that's what made a big difference. I think it was mostly egotistical (I want to keep my shop open), but nevertheless it happened. There was still whinging in New York (the news sent out roving reporters in their cars), but life went on. It was much more measured than I'd seen in Scotland. Glasgow's much smaller flurry of snow caused major issues and dominated the evening's news (and England's no better!), although I would also agree that the winter response from the state will be superior in NY in the first place due to the frequency of severe winter weather.

I think we have somewhat lost a sense of community responsibility in recent years. I would agree with the above sentiments that no-one should be obligated to undertake these tasks, but I think it is quite sad that so many people expect someone else to do it for them.

Please don't take this as a rejection of your views at all, but a salutary observation of how community spirit can backfire. In the winter of 1962/3 (sorry, I am that old, but I was only a teenager) the roads where I lived in the suburbs of London were covered in packed snow for some weeks, and paths leading up to houses, etc. Some people cleared their paths, and some also cleared the pavement outside their house. Our neighbour, who practised as an osteopath from his house, duly cleared what he could only to receive within a few days a letter from the local council saying they were considering prosecuting him as someone had complained of slipping on ice on the pavement he had cleared outside his house. I don't know if anything ever came of this, but my father was adamant from that time that we were never to clear anything away from outside our own property. As he was very civic-minded, I don't believe he was using it as an excuse to do nothing but just to leave it to the relevant authority.
 

PermitToTravel

Established Member
Joined
21 Dec 2011
Messages
3,044
Location
Groningen
Somewhere along the line I feel that many people have lost sight of the purpose that we have a council.

The Council, in my eyes, are employed by us when they can do things more efficiently than what we, as a disparate collection of individuals, can do for ourselves.

For example, if we didn't have waste collection, we'd all be burning our rubbish in our gardens or all individually travelling to some central location to get rid of our rubbish. By pooling our resources, we can hire a group of people, some vehicles, etc. to collect all our waste and dispose of it efficiently.

Getting the council in to remove some broken glass is thus, in my eyes, perverse as it is far less efficient than an individual undertaking the task.

It's like the boss walking past the photocopier with a sheet of paper to ask an admin person to photocopy it, because 'that's their job'.

Excellent post - a very good point well made.
 

LowLevel

Established Member
Joined
26 Oct 2013
Messages
7,722
If I see something obviously unsafe or easy to deal with I'll just sort it (things having blown into the road for example that I can grab easily).

However for example some sub human has recently dragged their old mattress out and dumped it on the pavement. Quite apart from wanting to chuck them off a very high building for consciously making the place look rubbish (I have some slightly sociopathic tendencies I will admit, I'd genuinely quite like to do them some damage because there's no need for it and they've made a conscious decision to do it) there's not a great deal I can do with it as I'm not loading a filthy old mattress into my personal car to take it to the tip. Thus the council are going to have to do it.

That I think draws the line pretty neatly in much the same way as my contract at work - basic tidying is everyone's responsibility, leave the big/hazardous jobs to someone qualified and don't waste the specialists time (and in this case therefore, your own taxes) on something they don't need to mess around with.
 

Johncleesefan

Member
Joined
4 Sep 2013
Messages
729
in the situation you describe i would of done the exact same thing and maybe flipped the neighbour the bird for his comment. why are we so quick to pass the buck onto someone else when we all know that rubbish would have still been there now waiting for you to drive over it had you not removed it, then who would have been the idiot.

common sense dictates that you did the right thing and that your neighbour is a tool
 

61653 HTAFC

Veteran Member
Joined
18 Dec 2012
Messages
17,824
Location
Yorkshire
The critical thing here is that the rubbish was broken glass, which is obviously harmful to both tyres and paws. If it was something less dangerous, leaving it wouldn't be a problem if you didn't feel like sweeping it up.
 

SteveP29

Member
Joined
23 Apr 2011
Messages
1,034
Location
Chester le Street/ Edinburgh
duly cleared what he could only to receive within a few days a letter from the local council saying they were considering prosecuting him as someone had complained of slipping on ice on the pavement he had cleared outside his house.

From experience of the last 3 major snowfalls we've had in the UK (1987, 2009, 2010), leaving it just means that it gets compacted by people walking on it, cars driving over it (when coming off or onto driveways) so it becomes dangerously slippy anyway.
If you clear it and put salt down (cat litter is also good!!), unless it is being regularly recovered by more fresh snow, it is IMO much safer.
 

GrimsbyPacer

Established Member
Joined
13 Oct 2014
Messages
2,256
Location
Grimsby
Nothing wrong with sweeping or not, especially with hazards.
I too cleaned broken glass up, but not at my house but a Zebra Crossing.
The council here are useless and only clean the rich areas.
 

Trog

Established Member
Joined
30 Oct 2009
Messages
1,546
Location
In Retirement.
I think the thing with snow is that it is just left to lie, it is an act of God/Nature and no ones fault. If you clear it badly so the path looks clear but has slippery bits, you have set a trap for the careless walker and are hence at least in theory liable.

How far anyone would get if it actually went to court might be another matter, as presumably the complainer would have to prove that you had been negligent in some way and the bit of snow they slipped on had not fallen off some one else's boots on to your perfectly cleared section of path.
 

Muttley

Member
Joined
17 Jul 2007
Messages
247
I think the thing with snow is that it is just left to lie, it is an act of God/Nature and no ones fault. If you clear it badly so the path looks clear but has slippery bits, you have set a trap for the careless walker and are hence at least in theory liable.

How far anyone would get if it actually went to court might be another matter, as presumably the complainer would have to prove that you had been negligent in some way and the bit of snow they slipped on had not fallen off some one else's boots on to your perfectly cleared section of path.

It's been to court. Landlord of a pub on the Woodhead Pass went after partially clearing his car park. I can't find the details at the mo, but he might have been exonerated because a) pub car parks are private land and b) the pub was closed due to the snow.
 

talltim

Established Member
Joined
17 Jan 2010
Messages
2,454
However for example some sub human has recently dragged their old mattress out and dumped it on the pavement. Quite apart from wanting to chuck them off a very high building

And see if they can land on their mattress?
 

Shimbleshanks

Member
Joined
2 Jan 2012
Messages
1,043
Location
Purley
There is a story in my bro-in-law's family in Manchester that during the 1930s the womenfolk would get the Brasso out every day and polish 'their' section of the tram rails that ran down their terraced street, along with sweeping the front step, pavement etc.
 

DarloRich

Veteran Member
Joined
12 Oct 2010
Messages
29,731
Location
Fenny Stratford
I clean the street outside my door when i sweep my step/porch. Isn't that what everyone does?

I don't "sweep the street", as the Council do that sufficiently for me not to need to, but I do collect litter when out and about near my house. If everyone did[1], it'd be a far nicer place to live.

[1] Or just didn't drop it, but sometimes it's not deliberate, e.g. our rubbish is still collected in black bags (we want wheelie bins!) and so sometimes cats/rats break the bags open etc.

speak for yourself - we don't have anywhere to store them up our end of town. The green bin already lives in the street. I would like a wheelie bin for waste but it isn't practical ( rear access isn't wide enough for a bin)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top