Man who was accused of stealing grit salt from council defends himself
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A car valet who encouraged others in the business to use grit salt to tackle icy driveways has defended himself after he was accused of 'stealing' from the council.
The worker from Talasi’s Detailing in Essex uses TikTok to offer insights to his job offering a mobile valeting service, which has become increasingly difficult over the last few days as freezing weather gripped the UK.
The TikToker shared this week what he deemed a 'good tip' for other mobile valets trying to work in the cold conditions and filmed himself filling up a bucket with grit salt from a local yellow council bin. Hear his advice below:
"Go to your local grit salt bin and just fill up a bucket, and then hopefully no more ice rinks for drives, and no more possible insurance claims," he said in the video.
The Talasi’s Detailing worker wrote in the caption that he was 'not sure if it's legal', but he stood up for himself after numerous viewers flooded his comments with accusations that he was stealing from the council.
"Go buy your own, it’s not there for you to use as a business on private drives, that’s theft," one viewer responded after watching the clip.
Another TikTok user tagged Exeter City Council in the post, writing: "What you you think of him nicking your grit for private use?"
The valet responded with a series of comments defending his actions, telling a couple of viewers the salt would be 'used for roads and paths, along with customers' drives' and responding to another who told him to 'buy [his] own' salt that the grit in the council bins was 'free'.
He agreed with one viewer who pointed out that the bins would 'be locked if [the council] didn't want you to take it', and joked in another comment that the cold weather had 'really brought the snowflakes out'.
When one TikTok user warned him the salt could destroy concrete, the valet wrote: "Better than a customer breaking their neck I suppose."
Devon County Council states on its website that local grit bins are 'intended for use on the public highway and not on private drives and paths'.
"Grit bins are an expensive facility to manage and maintain, but provide a useful means of self-help in the community," the council says.
Members of the public can request salt bags from the council, but they are for use 'on the public highway' and are not provided 'for use on private property'.
The council encourages people who want to use salt on their private property to try and purchase it from 'your local builders’ merchant or DIY store'.