Denham praises community spirit during cold snap

john denham mpSouthampton Itchen MP John Denham has praised the tremendous efforts of local people who pulled together to help deal with the challenges of the severe weather.

John Denham has said that communities’ responses during the recent cold snap have shown community spirit in action with many people volunteering their support where needed, from lending vehicles to help transport food to vulnerable people, to digging clear paths to re-open schools, or coming out of homes with shovels to get stranded emergency vehicles moving.

"Alongside the excellent work of the public services in responding to the severe weather, we have seen many tremendous examples of the way communities have pulled together, with people lending vehicles, digging clear paths to allow ambulances and police vehicles through and visiting neighbours in need,” he said.

"By its very nature, most volunteering is spontaneous, generous and does not need to be organised by central and local government. But it is important to do everything we can to support people helping out in their communities.

"We shouldn't let myths about litigation get in the way of people's civic minded actions. I hope that people will use their common sense in this matter and not be put off helping others."

With the cold spell set to continue in many parts of the country, the Government is joining forces with local government and the Health and Safety Executive to bust the myth that people who volunteer to undertake a civic duty could be at risk of facing legal action under health and safety laws. There is nothing in health and safety legislation to prevent a person taking sensible steps to clear a pathway to improve the situation, or volunteer to do shopping for a neighbour in need, said Mr Denham, who stressed the Government would be stepping up its support for those who wished to volunteer.

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