Tenants face hefty bill for untidy gardens

Release Date: 08-Sep-2009
Two north Kirklees residents who refused to clear up their gardens have been heavily fined for ignoring repeated requests and notices to remove rubbish from their gardens.

Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH), referred cases against Rose Marie Carr of Hazel Crescent, Chickenley and Karen Shaw of Hightown, Heckmondwike to the council’s Environmental Services department, as part of their commitment to taking a firm line against tenancy breaches.

However, following several warnings and the issuing of Fixed Penalty Notices, the council had no option but to pursue Miss Carr and Miss Shaw through the courts.

Miss Carr did not attend the hearing at Dewsbury Magistrates Court on 26 August but the court found the matter proved in her absence. The magistrate issued a fine of £874 with a £15 victim surcharge and clean-up and legal costs of £554.

Miss Shaw also did not attend court and in her absence was fined £875, with an additional £467.12 costs, £156.70 legal costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Cllr Shabir Pandor, the council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We work hard to educate people before going down the prosecution route and also offer a free collection service.

“We will not tolerate people ignoring the law that is there to protect and benefit the majority of residents who wish to live in a clean and healthy neighbourhood. These cases clearly show that we will not hesitate to take action.”

Paul Buckley, KNH’s Director of Neighbourhoods, said:

“Prosecutions like these show that KNH is determined that our estates are not going to be spoiled by people who refuse to look after their gardens.

“The council offers a free bulky rubbish collection service so there is no excuse for people using their gardens as dumping grounds.

“Untidy, rubbish-filled gardens don’t just reflect badly on the people who live in the property; they can make the whole area look bad and undermine the efforts of the majority of tenants and residents who take pride in their homes and their gardens.

“We know that this issue is a concern for many people, so we will continue to use this approach to persuade people who live on our estates to keep their gardens clean and tidy.”

Anyone wishing to report fly tipping or littering or who is experiencing a problem with waste in a garden should telephone 01484 223156.

The council’s bulky waste collection service can be contacted on 01484 414700.