23 October 2014

Sticks

Damaged verge on our street
The verge in front of our house
For twenty five years I have tried to maintain the little grass verge outside our house. Elsewhere on our section of road thoughtlessly parked vehicles have more or less  destroyed the verges. So imagine my consternation when I received a letter from the local council last week - threatening me with legal action if I don't move the little white sticks I have placed in our verge. Our next door neighbours received an identical letter and so did Janet and Phil across the road. Apparently, we are in "contravention of Section 149 of The Highways Act 1980 and once reported the Council has an obligation to ensure that the sticks are removed". Later the jobsworthy official writes "if we do have to remove the sticks then we can charge our costs for doing this".

Clearly some miserable, cowardly and petty-minded nobody has reported our sticks to the council. All we are trying to do is preserve the nice appearance of our local environment. It makes my blood boil but it doesn't surprise me. What would you do?

18 comments:

  1. Civil Servants love meetings ask him out for a site meeting and see if he has an alternative solution.
    You will be long past caring before a decision is reached.

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    Replies
    1. Replace with rubber sticks.

      149 Removal of things so deposited on highways as to be a nuisance etc.

      (1)If any thing is so deposited on a highway as to constitute a nuisance, the highway authority for the highway may by notice require the person who deposited it there to remove it forthwith and if he fails to comply with the notice the authority may make a complaint to a magistrates’ court for a removal and disposal order under this section.

      (2)If the highway authority for any highway have reasonable grounds for considering—

      (a)that any thing unlawfully deposited on the highway constitutes a danger (including a danger caused by obstructing the view) to users of the highway, and

      (b)that the thing in question ought to be removed without the delay involved in giving notice or obtaining a removal and disposal order from a magistrates’ court under this section,

      the authority may remove the thing forthwith.

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    2. Yes Adrian I have read all that legal stuff - Section 149. It is patently obvious that the act was never meant to target harmless little white sticks intended to protect the street environment.

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  2. I would for sure show up at their next meeting with photos and diagrams and my righteous outrage, and ask what their plans are for restoring the other damaged verges in your community. Do they have a budget? If so, you should get a tax credit for saving them money. Be sure to write your comments before you go to the meeting. Here in the U.S. citizens only have 3 minutes to speak, to be most effective it helps to write first and then you can read faster if you need to. Do NOT allow some butthead minor level bureaucrat to get away with this. Embarrass the poo out of the entire council, and perhaps they'll leave you alone in the future, OR attend to whatever you may need.

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    1. Good idea Jan. YP take lots of photos of both your nice verge and the broken, rough verge. Mention how dangerous it is and how people might injure themselves and sue the council. Really push the injury/suing scenario. Go get 'em !!

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  3. Bloody bureaucracy! Stupid rules made by stupid people who have no understanding of the real world that goes on around them!

    Yes...Jan Blawat has a very good idea, and one you should follow. They're a court case waiting to happen...those verges...someone is going to break their leg and sue the pants off the council...I hope they're taken to the cleaners!

    As for petty people...the small-mindedness of some sure does baffle, annoy and frustrate. They have little else to do with their time other than create unnecessary problems for others who are trying to do the right thing.

    I hope you win, Yorky! :)

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    1. I think I need you and Jan to fight my corner. Then the council officers would run a mile.

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  4. They are all complete F***wits YP. You should send them an invoice for your time and effort in upkeeping the grass verges. Please, please, please get someone from the Council to come out and speak to you and then report back to us. Use big words and baffle them - it won't take long.

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    Replies
    1. Trouble is I am a bashful kind of guy in real life. Not this keyboard warrior you see before you Molly.

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  5. " SUPPORT THE STICK MAN OF SHEFFIELD"
    I'm up in the city tomorrow!

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    1. I hope you have got your placard ready for the Stickman demo outside The Town Hall.

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  6. Replies
    1. Landmines? You mean in the first photo? No - Vauxhall Corsas and a Tesco delivery van.

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  7. Just don't get emotional with them. Be all cool and rational. Emotional means they'll instantly have their internal and procedural shutters rattle down in front of you.

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    1. All cool and rational? I am not German you know!

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  8. That narrow street looks nothing like a highway under the aforementioned legislation.

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  9. I can think of better ways for them to spend their council tax revenue rather than sending these letters.

    Our house is inter-war, we are unable to build a front wall higher than the 26 inches. and in the documents talking about the houses and the 'Green areas' which were to be adopted by the council, were to be 'well kept and free from unsightly debris'. I bet you have something like that.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.