Flintshire woman fumes at legal threat over clearing footpath

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A WOMAN from Flintshire says she is outraged after being warned she could be sued if she helped her community and cleared snow and ice from footpaths.

Gardener Angela Nichols, 39, of Norton Avenue, Saltney wanted to help her community and clear footpaths and pavements near her home and those of several elderly clients in Chester.

Angela, better known as Miss Greenfingers to her customers, was advised by legal officers at Flintshire Council that she could be liable for claims if people fell on paths she had cleared.

A council spokesman said: “Mrs Nicholls was informed that it was possible that she could be sued but this did not mean that the person who sued her would be successful.

“Every case depends upon its own facts and whether there is any evidence of negligence.

“Homeowners should refer to their home insurance policies to ascertain whether this particular risk is covered.”

Angela said: “I wanted to check what I can and can’t do and I was astonished when I was told that I could potentially be sued.

“I was glad that they provided the information so I didn’t go ahead and cause myself major problems.

“I feel frightened to help and I feel very upset that I couldn’t help elderly people who were trapped in their homes.

“I wanted to help my community and I was stopped. I want to call for our community spirit to return.”

Angela said laws could be relaxed in emergency situations.

She added: “This is the law gone mad and it is really stopping people getting to know each other and helping each other out.

“In a nationwide emergency it is a time when we depend on each other and we need to get out there and help one another.

“Getting sued for clearing people’s paths so they can get out of their homes and go to the shops is a sign that communities are being broken down.”

See full story in the Leader

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