Family butcher Steve Betts is leading the way as businesses in Banbury respond to the call for volunteer snow wardens.
Staff at Mr Betts’ Church Lane shop are the first to receive their safety equipment and training after Banbury Town Council appealed for shops and offices to help keep town centre pavements free of snow and ice.
The town centre scheme is an extension of an initiative started by the council in 2013 that sees nearly 100 volunteers take responsibility for gritting roads and pavements in areas where they live.
Businesses have now been asked to get involved by gritting pavements outside their premises.
This year ice has already been a problem in the town centre.
Mr Betts said: “The safety of our customers is very important to us and we are pleased to be part of this scheme.
“Spreading a bit of grit will take little time or effort but the benefits could be very significant.
“If our actions prevent shoppers from falling – perhaps breaking bones or suffering head injuries – then it will be worthwhile.”
He added: “The council supplies everything we need, and shows us how to do the job efficiently.”
Cllr Kieron Mallon, leader of the town council, said: “I want to thank Mr Betts for his public-spirited actions. I’m sure many people will be grateful to him and his staff if we have snow or another spell of icy weather.
“Snow wardens are valued members of the community. They keep roads, pavements and footpaths safer for everyone throughout the winter – particularly elderly and vulnerable residents who cannot help themselves.”
“They are on-the-spot and can act straightaway.”