September 23 2014 Latest news:
by Anna Silverman, Reporter
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
A keen gardener who was served with a litter notice after cutting his hedge has accused the council of taking “authoritarian action”.
Robert Young, 57, of Richford Road, Stratford, cut his garden hedge and bagged it up last week intending to take the trimmings to the tip the following weekend.
The next day he and his wife were shocked to find a “threatening” letter waiting for each of them after a passing law enforcement officer disapproved of the hedge-cuttings in the garden.
“I find this completely outrageous and to the extreme,” said Robert.
“To threaten two law abiding people who just cut back their hedge because it was overgrown is unacceptable.”
The letters were from a Newham enforcement officer telling them to rem ove the bags from their garden within 28 days or risk paying a hefty fine of £140.
Robert tired to complain about the letters but found the council “unreachable”, adding: “They seem to be able to victimise people then hide away in an office where they can’t be touched.
“I was absolutely fuming they can poke their nose into my private business like that.
“My wife is disabled and she was really upset by the notice. It was a threatening letter to get when I’d just trimmed our garden hedge.
“We had problems with fly-tipping on our street a while ago so I understand they want people to keep it tidy but they seem to be watching everything we do now. Would they prefer I left it overgrown?”
A Newham Council spokesperson explained rubbish in front gardens “won’t be accepted” as they say it ruins the look of the local area and is “unfair” to those residents who make an effort to keep their gardens tidy.
They added: “Our staff work hard to keep roads and pavements free of litter and it is important that residents help out by keeping their front garden clear of rubbish.
“Rubbish in front gardens is not only unsightly. It is also an environmental hazard and attracts vermin.”