Lots of councils and other responsible bodies have tried to play safe by saying that someone who clears snow or ice might be liable of there is an accident. More recently, we have had more sensible advice suggesting that, so long as a person is sensible and careful in clearing a road or pathway then they probably won't be liable.
But, of course, there's still that all important word 'probably'.
Surely it's time for the Government to make clear that, in the spirit of the Big Society, if a person acts in such a community spirited way and doesn't create additional problems then they will not be liable for accidents.
This need was emphasised by the recent news that Cornwall Council is refusing to allow a street cleaner from Helston to clear snow and ice in the town. This is the same Council which is currently trying to dump responsibility for grit bins on town and parish councils without giving them any money to take this on.
It will seem to many that Cornwall Council would prefer it if everyone would just stay at home as soon as temperatures fall below zero.
UPDATE 1 - As Sal says in the comments below, some councils take a much more sensible approach
UPDATE 2 - And Transport Secretary Philip Hammond was quoted in the Independent on Wednesday making very sensible suggestions:
With icy weather warnings in place across much of the country, Philip Hammond said people should have access to supplies so they can tackle roads and pavements which are not treated by councils." Seems to me that in many rural places this happens anyway and in the world of the Big society it would be a good example of communities showing "true grit"!