Pensioner in threat to shame neighbours with dirty gardens

Untidy front gardens in Speapoint gardens, Aldborough Hatch

Untidy front gardens in Speapoint gardens, Aldborough Hatch - Credit: Archant

Ron Jeffries has been in protracted communication with Redbridge Council over the untidy condition of some of the gardens near his home in Spearpoint Gardens, Aldborough Road North, Aldborough Hatch.

In his opening salvo he stated: “Like many long-time residents, I am tired of seeing the area in which I live go downwards – simply because a few folk allow their front gardens to become untidy and, in all probability, rat-infested.”

His email was passed on to head of community protection and environment Alan Drake and council Street Scene officers arranged for “detritus” to be removed from one of the gardens.

Mr Drake told Mr Jeffries it may take a short while for the land owner to remove the rubbish and the council would give them the opportunity to deal with the issue before enforcement action was taken.

He added the council was unable to take action over overgrown gardens in the area, but he would pass the rat infestation issue on to colleagues in environmental health who would speak to the landowner about pest control treatments.

This failed to satisfy 82-year-old Mr Jeffries, who was frustrated that it seemed “there was little Mr Drake could do about almost anything”.

He added: “As I am retired, I may decide to invest in a pair of sandwich boards with appropriate wording inscribed thereupon and walk up and down Aldborough Road North for an hour or two each day.”

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He suggested the wording could be: “Is your garden full of rubbish? Are you harbouring vermin? Is your mess turning the Hatch into a slum? If so, get out there and clear it up!”

A spokesman from Redbridge Council said: “We sympathise with Mr Jeffries because we too would like to see residents and businesses showing the level of civic pride that comes with tidy front gardens and clean streets.

“It doesn’t take much to make sure your litter is dropped in a bin or your front garden looks nice but it makes a great deal of difference to the area. We work hard with our resources to tackle those who don’t treat Redbridge with the respect it deserves and we encourage residents to report the problems they see on our website.

“It’s wrong to suggest that we can’t or won’t take action where possible. We do issue on the spot fines for things like littering but some action, such as addressing untidy front gardens, can take longer.

“The Council does have some powers around untidy and overgrown front gardens and we have referred Mr Jeffries complaints to the appropriate teams so they can look into this.”

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