Garden cleared by council after owner ignores order ... again
AN Alvaston man's debris-filled front garden has been cleared by the city council – 10 years after the authority removed 15 skip-loads of rubbish from the same property.
Graham Ellison, of Fife Street, had his front garden cleared up yesterday by the council after failing to act on a notice ordering him to clean up the mess.
The 54-year-old was served with a enforcement notice that gave him 28 days to respond and then 21 days to clean up his front garden.
When he failed to do this, Derby City Council enforcement officers were sent in to deal with the mess – the £500 cost of which will be passed on to Mr Ellison.
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Alvaston ward councillor Linda Winter said she thought Mr Ellison may need the council's help with keeping his property clean.
She said: "I think it's very sad. We wonder if he's got any family and he should be pitied not blamed.
"All you can do is offer to help people. I heard this clean-up was going to happen and wanted to come down and support the enforcement officers and staff.
"But also it's a shame that things have to come to this. I was hoping there would be something we could do to help him if he wanted it."
Enforcement officer Neil Jackson said Mr Ellison had received plenty of warning that works would be carried out yesterday.
He said: "This doesn't happen often. Normally it's exceptional circumstances.
"This is the most pragmatic solution in terms of getting the issue resolved quickly.
"We received a complaint from a councillor and a lot of the councillors for this ward are concerned about the condition of the land and its immediate effect on the neighbourhood.
"It also has an effect on the visual amenities on the street when other residents are trying to keep their properties tidy and in good condition."
In 2003, 15 skips were used by the council to clear up the front and rear gardens of Mr Ellison after he failed to comply with a court order which told him to clear the mess. The operation took a week.
The city council presented him with a £2,800 bill for the cost of the clear-up.
In the same year, he was given a three month prison sentence for contempt of court after ignoring the court order to tidy the garden.
He eluded arrest for nearly two months, during which time the council made the decision to clear his garden.
During the work yesterday, Mr Ellison approached police officers who were on the scene and said the council's actions were "theft from private property".
He also denied having been presented with warning that the works would be carried out.