MP to quiz council boss after enforcement officers allegedly followed 'terrified' woman home
Ashfield’s MP is to quiz a council boss over complaints over some enforcement officers who allegedly left one woman ‘terrified and shocked’ after following her home to see where she stubbed out her cigarette.
Lee Anderson, Ashfield MP, said his office has been ‘inundated’ with complaints about some of the wardens, who are contracted by Ashfield Council to patrol public areas, policing littering, fly-tipping and dog-fouling.
Mr Anderson said: “No-one has been safe. A pensioner in Kirkby was fined for weeding her back garden. She piled weeds next to her bin. She pleaded for mercy, but was scared senseless.
“Another lady was followed to her car while out shopping by a male enforcer. She was terrified when he demanded to know where she had put her cigarette stub.
“It was in her ashtray, but a lone woman being confronted in this way was frightening.”
Mr Anderson said he had ‘personally seen’ officers ‘hiding’ in their cars at one Sutton shopping area.
He said: “While we need to keep our area clean, we seem to turn a blind eye to discarded settees left in the New Cross area, while a fridge was left on Garden Lane for three months, despite numerous residents reporting it.
“I will continue to raise this issue with the chief executive.”
Some residents have raised concerns on Facebook, citing incidents and urging people to report them.
Antonio Taylor, council community safety manager, said: “We are aware of the claims against the enforcement officers and these are being investigated.
“The officers have been introduced to help make the district cleaner and safer. We will not tolerate people dropping litter, or fly-tipping in Ashfield.
“Since April 2021, they have issued more than 1,500 fixed penalty notices for littering and dog fouling, and 79 for fly-tipping.
“We are proud of our parks, town centres and open spaces and, after investing millions of pounds into them, do not want a minority to ruin them.
“Now the council has secured £62.6 million of Towns Fund investment, the future is bright and we have ambitious plans to transform our town centres.
“Now is the time to further the great work of the enforcement and environment teams by continuing to clean up the district.
“We remain committed to making Ashfield a cleaner place to live, work and visit.”