Gutsy gran vows to fight Mansfield District Council all the way to court over fly-tipping

Residents of Victoria Street, including Janice Melbourne, left, who are angry at being asked to pay to clear up fly-tipping mess by Mansfield District Council.

Residents of Victoria Street, including Janice Melbourne, left, who are angry at being asked to pay to clear up fly-tipping mess by Mansfield District Council.

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A defiant grandmother has vowed to fight Mansfield District Council all the way to court after they threatened to bill her and her neighbours to clear fly-tipped rubbish near her home.

Over the past four months, old mattresses, broken furniture, smashed fridge freezers and even old clothes and toys have been dumped in an alleyway between Victoria Street and Moor Street.

When Janice Melbourne, of Victoria Street, inquired to the council about having it removed, she was amazed to hear it was the residents’ responsibility to clear it up.

They have been given 21 days’ notice, and if it is not cleared, the council will charge them for its removal.

But 72-year-old Janice, who also has the backing of MP Alan Meale, remains defiant.

She said: “They can take me to court, I’ll do it, because I’m not paying.

“I’d even go to jail,” she joked, “It’d be the first time I get a free cup of tea with bed and board!”

“We are all standing firm. We did not do it, so why should we have to pay for it?

“There’s no way we are going to. If we pay this time, the next month we will have to pay for it again because this has been happening for years.”

The council have told the residents that the alley was under their ownership, and therefore was their responsibility.

However, the council has cleaned it up in the past.

In a letter to the council, Alan Meale backed the residents, describing the council’s approach as ‘a touch clinical’, calling it an ‘insult’.

He said: “I ask this matter is dealt with speedily by the council and the police, and not simply handed onto residents who have been suffering relentlessly because of these illegal actions.”

Mrs Melbourne says that residents have called for CCTV cameras to be installed, but have always been told it would be too costly.

Mansfield District Council has reiterated its stance on the mess, with a spokesman saying: “The 21-day period ends on 5th May.

“If the rubbish has not been cleared by this date, Mansfield District Council will carry out the work and the bill will be divided between all the occupiers jointly responsible for the alleyway.

“The council is working with partners to proactively tackle a number of issues in this area including fly-tipping. Where possible, the council’s enforcement team will always seek to take appropriate action against those responsible for fly-tipping. If anyone has information about the source of any of the rubbish, they should contact the Neighbourhood Wardens on 01623 463463.”