'Ice rink' public car parks cause concern

ICE rink East Devon car parks won t be gritted to reduce the risk of residents falling – as council insurers fear victims have a better chance suing them if the safety measure IS in place.

ICE rink" East Devon car parks won't be gritted to reduce the risk of residents falling - as council insurers fear victims have a better chance suing them if the safety measure IS in place.

The shocking revelation comes in a week when East Devon District Council (EDDC) car parks were covered by slippery inches of snow and ice, and, labelled a "shambles" and a "disgrace".

It was claimed on Monday town traders suffered a blow on Christmas Eve, one of the busiest days of the year for food retailers, as shoppers shunned car parks' dangerous surfaces- while EDDC's parking enforcement officer was on hand to book anyone who dared stop on double yellow lines.

After looking into the issue, district, town and county councillor Roger Giles has asked EDDC's top brass to review its policy on gritting and salting in car parks as "a matter of urgency."


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He was left "surprised and greatly concerned" when a message from a council officer on Wednesday revealed: "EDDC`s insurers have advised the council that it should NOT grit its car parks. Their reasoning is that if the council does grit its car parks and someone slips, and is injured, they could claim compensation on the grounds that the gritting was not done properly."

"The implication here is that it is better for someone to fall over in an unsalted EDDC car park, because that will not be an insurance liability for the council," said Cllr Giles.

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"I believe that the policy is quite wrong, and that EDDC has a moral duty, even if not a legal duty, to make efforts to keep its car parks safe for people to walk and drive in."

Car park charges are one of EDDC's biggest money-spinners.

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