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Sainsbury's and The Citizen team up to help snowbound Painswick pensioner

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 26, 2013

  • helping out: Chris Brown feeds Ruby the Tibetan Terrier.

  • generous: James Glover and Chris Brown.

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WHEN a snowbound pensioner called for help, Sainsbury's and The Citizen swung in to action.

Maureen Madeley, 75, feared she couldn't get to the supermarket for basic provisions in her car because of ice on the road.

And thanks to a chest infection, she couldn't get very far on foot.

So after calling The Citizen to ask why the road outside her home hadn't been gritted, we and Sainsbury's teamed up to give her £50-worth of shopping, free of charge.

"It's very kind, I certainly didn't expect all this," said Mrs Madeley, who returned to her Edge Road, Painswick home after seeing family in the USA, the evening the snowfall began last week.

"I had run down the stocks of food in the house for that reason, and I was not confident about getting out in the car."

Stroud Sainsburys' workers Chris Brown and James Glover delivered her shopping to her door after taking down her list from The Citizen.

Deputy store manager Dennis Mitchell said Sainsbury's was delighted to help.

"We don't do home deliveries from this store but we were absolutely delighted to be able to help," he said.

The store even delivered the preferred food of her Tibetan terrier, Ruby.

Because the road is a minor road, it's not a top priority for Gloucestershire County Council, which concentrates on keeping more major routes open.

She called Painswick Parish Council on Wednesday but says she didn't receive a reply.

Parish council chairman, snow warden and snow plough driver Martin Slinger said the council had been working hard to grit wherever residents asked for it. He offered to visit Mrs Madeley to help her out.

"It's the responsibility of the county council to keep the roads gritted and I have snow ploughed most roads," said Mr Slinger.

"Pavements in Painswick have been gritted by the local community. If she left a message on our answerphone, it would have been picked up."

Gloucestershire County Council's policy on gritting means when there is a risk of ice or snow it pre-salts 1,000 miles of the county's 3,300 miles of roads, including all A and B roads and routes to emergency services such as hospitals and fire stations.

If time and resources allow, in severe weather conditions it may also salt a secondary network made up of the remaining main roads and regular bus routes running every two hours or more frequently.

It does not clear footways so it can focus on keeping roads open but it says vital support from community volunteers, including parish council snow wardens and snow plough operators, also helps to clear snow.

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