Couple’s doormat confiscated over ‘health and safety’ concerns

They’ve been asked to pay £40 by the council to get their ‘health and safety hazard’ back

A young couple have had their doormat taken off them by the council, who claimed that it was a health and safety risk – they now have to pay £40 to get it back.

They arrived back at their two-bedroomed flat to discover that their doormat had gone and a note had been left by Dacorum Borough Council.

Ashley Tofte and fiancée Jade Bunce, who are both aged 24 and live in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, now have until December 21 to collect their doormat and pay the £40 fee, which according to the note is to cover removal and storage service costs.

The note from the council also read: “It is our legal duty to keep these areas clear of hazards and combustible materials.”

Mr Tofte could not believe it and thought it was one of his neighbours having a joke with the couple. They have appealed the decision, however they still have to collect their doormat and pay the £40 charge.

This is another case of health and safety gone mad, like the refuse collection workers last year in Colchester, who were banned from wearing Christmas hats or any other Christmas attire over health and safety – reason given was that other drivers on the road could be distracted!

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Local residents stopped from volunteering to cut grass

Health and safety checks put a stop to willing volunteers cutting neglected areas of long grass

A group of volunteers in Blackpool who have been cutting neglected grassy areas in the community, have been angered by council chiefs who have put a stop to their help because of health and safety concerns.

Volunteers will now only be able to cut the grass after expensive, drawn out checks have been made.

Residents in Blackpool took it upon themselves to cut the grass after noticing roadside verges, children’s play areas and community areas in the town were over-run with 4ft tall grass, nettles and weeds.

These areas had been left to grow because the council decided to concentrate only on keeping pitches and parks tidy to help cut costs.

Blackpool council has stopped volunteers cutting grassy areas over health and safety fears

Blackpool council has stopped volunteers cutting grassy areas over health and safety fears

Local residents got out their strimmer’s and lawnmowers in a joint effort to tidy up the areas but have been told to keep off council land, which is run by Labour, until a ‘risk assessment’ has been completed.

Blackpool residents could not believe the ridiculousness of the decision and feel that the true risk could be if a child falls on some broken glass, or other rubbish, that might be hidden in the long grass. They were also worried about those who suffer from asthma and hay fever.

“This ludicrous decision will allow the verges to grow sky high.” Said Linda Spencer.

The leader of the council’s Conservative group, Tony Williams, said: “The residents have rolled up their sleeves to do the job and all the council can do is moan about health and safety.”

He also went on to say that the whole health and safety concerns mean that residents will end up having to fill in forms and have their garden equipment looked at by members of the council. He added that it is bureaucracy gone mad and that the council would have been better to employ people to do the job.

Graham Cain, the council cabinet secretary, said: “Using sharp mechanical equipment like lawnmowers and strimmer’s in your private property is very different to using them on public land.”

“If, heaven forbid, there was an accident there would be some very serious health and safety issues for all those concerned.”

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‘Ugly’ gate erected over health and safety fears disappears

The ‘prison-style’ 8ft tall gate was hated by the locals before it disappeared again

An 8ft tall ‘ugly’ iron gate which was erected on the seafront by the council due to health and safety concerns has been stolen during the night.

The ‘prison-style’ gate has caused residents in Christchurch, Dorset, to threaten a ‘mini-revolution’ over the erection.

The iron gate was erected over health and safety fears but campaigners against the gate have accused the council of ‘blotting the seascape’ on one of the UK’s most idyllic beaches, at Mudeford Spit.

Iron gate erected due to health and safety fears

Locals were appalled by the iron gate which blighted the scenery

The gate was removed sometime after 7pm on Thursday 28th April and was noticed missing on Friday morning around 10:00am on 29th April. It is believed the gate was removed from its position with a welding torch, therefore prompting an investigation by the police.

Steven Bath, the owner of a beach hut, said that he had been left saddened that a criminal act had been responsible for the removal of the gate.

Mr Bath said: “I have been warning that there would be a mini-revolution like this because the hutters are livid about it. If you push people hard enough they will revolt.”

He added: “It is what we have been campaigning for. It is ugly and ruins our lovely beach.”

Mr Bath says that he was glad the gate had gone but disappointed that it had been removed due to a criminal act. Himself and his group of campaigners were following the right channels to having it removed and believed they were on course to winning the case.

Many residents have been celebrating the fact that the gate has been removed but the council have already confirmed that a new gate has been ordered.

A spokesperson from Dorset police has confirmed that the incident is being investigated and would like to appeal for any witnesses to come forward.

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