Tuesday, 18 November 2008

****UPDATE*** Lib dem council tells residents remove your doormats or face legal action

. Well, your intrepid reporter decided to investigate the story below and here is what I found. The story doesn't just appear in the Conservative media. The Mirror carries the story too along with the Daily Telegraph. Apparently, three residents in Revenge House, at The Anchorage, Gosport, Hants, have been told to remove the rubber-backed mats.

Surveyors felt that the mats were a tripping risk and that if they were not removed then the tenants would be breaking the terms of their lease re; putting objects in communal areas. Luckily there is not a blanket ban but the council is threatening to write more letters asking for the mats removal. A council spokeswoman Brenda Brooker is quoted as saying:

"We, as a local authority and landlord, have a duty of care to all persons entering our communal areas.

These should be free from any hazards or obstructions, likely to cause health and safety issues or prevent evacuation of persons in a fire situation.

We would consider the health and safety risk that the particular problem presents and then would consider appropriate action, possibly involving legal action."

Not exactly good press for us in local government is it....

7 comments:

Martin Howes said...

Keeping fire escape routes free from obstructions and trip hazards is a good idea, don't you think?

Darrell G said...

Martin,

Frankly its all a bit absurd; especially to go as far as the council did..and any legitimate point they may have had has been drowned out in the scornful laughter of opponents and even criticisms from our own individual councillors...worrying old ladies with menacing sounding letters about being in breach of tenancy because they have a doormat isnt exactly going to leave a good impression is it??

Richard T said...

Although this may just be an exampple of over zealous idiocy, there is equally a possibility of my learned friends or more probably the Council's insurers being behind this.

Darrell G said...

Richard,

I take your point but if thats the case then they should say so because frankly this looks a bit dreadful....

Peter Chegwyn said...

It would be nice if bloggers checked their facts before believing the Torygraph, Daily Mail, Mirror et al.

The facts are:

i) The story came from a failed Labour Party candidate who lives in the block of flats concerned

ii) It resulted from a letter sent by a junior Council officer that simply asked residents with door mats to ensure they are not a trip hazard in communal hall areas

iii) When the story broke in the local media the Lib. Dem. Council leadership made it very clear that we would never take legal action or evict a tenants for such a trivial matter. I was quoted in the Portsmouth Evening News:

Cllr Peter Chegwyn, chairman of the community and environment board, added: ‘There’s no question of us taking legal action over something this trivial.’

In short, the whole thing has been blown out of all proportion by a failed Labour candidate and a pro-Tory media to embarrass a Lib. Dem. Council.

Cllr. Peter Chegwyn
Deputy Leader, Gosport Council and Leader of the Lib. Dem. Group

Darrell G said...

Peter,

Well, you obviously didn't make it very clear to the national media did you? How do you explain the quote I reproduce from the Daily Telegraph?? Unless, of course, you are saying they are making that up???

Darrell G said...

Peter,

I think it's worth developing the point; firstly you can't really say The Mirror is part of the 'pro-Tory media' - pro Labour maybe. Secondly, the quote I reproduce is clearly not from the official in question who is named as Elspeth White.

So, who does Brenda Brooker speak for or is she a figment of the Daily Telegraphs imagination?? According to my information she is the Press and Public Relations officer for the council. She's not very on message is she?? Is it not possible here that you are saying one thing and others are saying other things.....