WALTHAM FOREST: Council to get tough on garden mess (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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WALTHAM FOREST: Council to get tough on garden mess
LANDLORDS will get a “short sharp shock” if they do not clear up filthy front gardens.
As a father spoke to the Guardian of his dismay that an empty house next door has becoming a dumping ground, the council is planning tough action to tackle the problem, which blights many of the borough’s streets.
Council enforcers will give those responsible 48 hours to clear the rubbish, or face a hefty fine.
Mohammed Zladdin lives next door to a house in Manor Road, Leyton, which has been unoccupied for seven months and is attracting fly-tipping.
He said assorted waste and rubbish, including soiled nappies, is regularly dumped in the front garden, creating an eyesore and a terrible smell.
His wife Samia Akhtar has resorted to picking up the nappies herself.
The council has warned the owner to act within 28 days or the council will clear the garden and submit a bill for the work.
He said: "The house has been empty for months and the front garden is full of mess. People throw nappies and all sorts into there.
“I have asked the council to clean it but nothing is being done. For months I have been reporting the rubbish. There are foxes and rats here at night, and the rubbish makes it worse. It needs to be cleaned up.
"Every time I have called the council they say they will do it or they will get back to me. They just give me excuses.
"No one has been down to have a look at it. I last contacted them three weeks ago.
"A couple of times my wife has picked up the nappies because they were creating a bad smell. But why should she have to do that? It's looking really bad.
"This house is being used as a dumping ground. I can't understand why the council doesn't care about the hygiene."
Specialist council enforcement officers will in October patrol the borough looking for messy gardens and insist landlords ensure they are cleared.
If they do not comply, they will be issued with a £100 fixed penalty notice. Further legal proceedings could lead to a £5000 fine.
Cabinet member for environment, Cllr Clyde Loakes, said: "Our residents are sick and tired of people blighting their streets and want us to take action to tackle this issue.
“This policy is a tough response to the small minority of residents who couldn't care less about the rest of their street and leave their front gardens to rot.
"We think a short sharp shock will work and we're writing to letting agents and landlords asking them to warn their tenants of the consequences of allowing their front gardens to deteriorate.
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