Written by IainB
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Topics: Snow, Scouts, Big Society

Monday, 6 February 2012

image for Councils urge the elderly to pay for snow removal
A scout starting on clearing old Mrs Hawthorn's drive

After the weekend's heavy snowfalls claimed the lives of five elderly residents in the UK, councils are urging their elderly relatives to pay for snow clearing rather than attempt it themselves.

"Snow is quite heavy," said councillor, Rob Roberts of Lytham St Anne's Council. "Moving it can put a lot of strain on a weak heart."

Out of the five deaths in the snowfall, three were due to heart attacks whilst moving snow, one was due to an attempt to move snow whilst wearing slippers and the fifth was due to heat exhaustion when Henry Jalopy failed to remove his overcoat, waistcoat, undercoat and cardigan after returning indoors after shovelling snow outside.

"Slipper related deaths we can do nothing about," said Roberts. "But heart-attacks whilst shovelling snow we can. There are plenty of people who will help out an elderly relative by shovelling twenty-two tonnes of snow from paths, drives, conservatory roofs and the road in the immediate vicinity of the house."

According to Roberts, there are even people who can be employed to do the exact same thing.

"It doesn't have to be expensive," he said. "As well as trained professionals with snowploughs, snow shovels and their own - usually purloined - supply of grit, there are the scouts."

Lytham's local scout troupe, the third Lytham scout troop, have been sent out bob-a-jobbing by scout leader Arthur "Clover" Garlic.

"We realise that in this time of Cameron's Big Society," said Garlic, "that there is money to be raised for the scout master's trip to Tahiti. We've sent scouts round to all the elderly people offering to remove snow for just a couple of pounds. So far, we've raised six hundred pounds. There are a lot of old people in Lytham."

Garlic defends this use of child labour.

"It's good for them," he said. "Everybody's a winner. The elderly get the snow cleared, the kids get their snow clearing badge or their Help the Aged badge and the scout leaders get an all expenses trip to Tahiti. So far, the scouts have been quite successful. I'm sure Billy will thaw if the other scouts can master the art of making a fire. And little Chase will turn up when the snow goes, I'm sure."

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