What’s ‘Unreasonable’ About It?

Homeowners who fail to keep their windows clean or their gardens tidy could be handed criminal records under local council laws.

At last! An end to the blight. My local area has several of these eyesores, and the council seem either lethargic, or powerless.

Today’s report, by campaigning group the Manifesto Club, found that almost 4,000 CPNs have been handed out by 107 local authorities in the 12 months up to last October. Newham issued the most in the country with 1,486.

Theresa May introduced the laws in 2014 when she was Home Secretary (Peter Nicholls/Reuters)
The report warns that there is a “serious danger” of CPNs being used to “impose unreasonable restrictions upon law-abiding members of the public”.

It’s ‘unreasonable’ to expect property owners to have a responsibility to maintain their property? Surely even the most ardent libertarian couldn’t disagree that these wrecks attract rats and bring down property prices, thus affecting those around them…

Josie Appleton, director of the Manifesto Club, said: “CPNs come with almost no restrictions on their use: a local authority officer can fill in a form ordering you to do or not do something, and it is a crime to disobey.

“The officer only need to believe your conduct is having a ‘detrimental effect’ on the area, which is an incredible low burden of proof.

Except it isn’t. Like pornography, we all know it when we see it. And it’s really about time something was done about it.

15 comments for “What’s ‘Unreasonable’ About It?

  1. The Jannie
    November 4, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Now we need some council ticket issuers who like a real Christmas; they can criminalise those who start in September.

  2. November 4, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Oh brilliant and how am I meant to do that on a 4th floor overhang, with a sheer drop below? I feel a pan of boiling water coming on for any errant council worker.

    • Ed P
      November 4, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      The water would cool whilst falling 4 floors – use boiling lead instead.

      • November 6, 2016 at 7:16 am

        Lead’s too expensive to waste!

  3. Bucko
    November 4, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Fuck off! A ticket for dirty windows? That’s the trouble with these schemes, they’re designed to tackle the most extreme of cases but are put in the hands of a jobsworth who just wants to look good.

    • microdave
      November 4, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      “That’s the trouble with these schemes, they’re designed to tackle the most extreme of cases but are put in the hands of a jobsworth who just wants to look good”

      Absolutely – “Jobsworths” always go for the easy target, rather than the handful of cretins who they know will simply ignore any penalties handed out and/or employ dozens of well rehearsed excuses. Why risk threats of violence or accusations of targeting “vulnerable” people, when you can dish out CPN’s to those who will simply pay up, rather than risk fines, etc.

    • Errol
      November 4, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      They’re there to give the council more power. Why doesn’t this flow the other way? Why can we not control them?

      • November 6, 2016 at 7:18 am

        They are there to give those affected by ASB some power, surely?

        That they will inevitably be used for ill doesn’t mean we shouldn’t set them up. Just that they need careful handling, like ALL weapons.

  4. mona
    November 4, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    I remember St Teresa May stating quite clearly in Parliament that we the people are ruled by consent. “I Do Not Not Consent” my garden is overgrown nothing gives me greater pleasure than watching the wrens, sparrows, robins nesting and feeding in my garden which they prefer to Mrs clean and tidy paved over garden brainwashed numties.

    • November 6, 2016 at 7:18 am

      I’m not talking about an overgrown garden filled with birds, but one filled with rats!

  5. November 5, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Sorry Julia, but I disagree completely. An ‘Approved Council Official’ is no substitute for a sworn and warranted Police officer, and a Magistrate’s court. I have had my fair share of bullying Council Officials, and have routed every attempt to make me do something which I did not wish to do.

    If the council wishes to make me cut my grass, or clean my windows, they will have to take me to Court, and prove that I have broken a Law.

    Some time back, I had a huge argument with our County Council. When seeking a grant to allow my severely-disabled wife to safely shower and to move between her bedroom and the living room by means of a stair-lift, I approached the County Council for a Disabled Facilities Grant, as I feared for my wife’s health, safety and well-being if better facilities were not provided. The resultant bureaucracy was formidable, but being well educated, as well as being in possession of all the facts regarding the DFG’s and their provision, I felt comfortable with the intrusive questions, the reams and reams of paper, and the rest of the palaver associated with any brush with petty would-be dictator Council Officials. However, when the appropriate official came to view our house, and to agree what items my wife needed, they came upon a stumbling block.

    My wife was confined to a wheelchair, and I had built a ramp outside the back door, which allowed me to transport my wife from a two-foot high step safely down a slope, rounding a corner and through a further slope to the garden path. I am fairly proficient with all manner of tools, though probably a little slower than I used to be, but got the job done safely; which of course was to move my wife’s wheelchair towards the car. This snippy Council clown who was graced with the title ‘Occupational Therapy Representative’ made arrangements for the bath to be removed, and the provision of a walk-in shower, he also allowed for the provision and fitting of a stairlift so my wife could safely move up and down stairs; but he also stated that my wooden ramp did not ‘come up’ to Council safety standards, and they would be ordering and fitting a ‘stainless-steel ramp’ complete with hand-rail, totally compliant with Council requirements, and it would only cost an extra £2,600.00. I told him categorically that I did not need a ramp, but, unknown to me, the recommendations included the new Ramp.

    I was interviewed by some tight-lipped bitch from the Council’s financial side about my own financial resources, and answered all the intrusive questions satisfactorily; but again the Ramp was stated to be part of the package. I again stated I did not need the ramp, but was met with implicit blackmail or unspoken threats that work which is essential to my wife’s health and well-being is at risk of being disallowed because I am unwilling to accept that the ‘County Council knows best’, and I should knuckle down and allow such work on a ramp, which I know to be totally irrelevant and unnecessary, to proceed because ‘The DFG is written to include the Ramp, therefore the Ramp must be built’! I was further visited once more by the OT representative, and in my presence, he contacted a contractor to arrange his visit to complete a survey for this bloody RAMP.

    I DID NOT dash to a newspaper, and sob out how I was being harried, I did not complain to any outside party, I sat down and composed a blistering e-mail to several very senior County council officials. The noise of people covering their own arseholes was deafening. The snippy officious official’s contract was swiftly terminated, the stairlift and the walk-in shower room were both completed, and although the Council insisted on my signing a document which absolved them of all responsibility if an accident happened whilst transporting my beloved wife down the ramp, my wooden ramp remains in place today. I fought the County Council bunch, they caved on the spot, but I never felt the need to trumpet my victory on the pages of local or national newspapers. I mean; I won, now let’s move on!

    • November 6, 2016 at 7:20 am

      People use guns inappropriately, and we laugh at those who say ‘ban all guns!’. So why not adopt the same rule for those who misuse laws?

      If these orders are handled properly, they will prevent harm, not cause it.

  6. November 5, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Sorry, but it’s ludicrous to think that giving more power to petty bureaucrats to harass people is a good idea. If you give them more power they will abuse that power. Every time. Every single time.

    And this would provide an incredibly easy means to harass people to whom these petty bureaucrats have taken a dislike. Put a UKIP sign up in your yard at election time and find yourself being harassed by the council because your windows aren’t clean enough.

    Do you really want the Garden Police or the Lawn Police or the Window Police to have the power to bleed you dry financially? What next?

    Isn’t this sort of thing one of the reasons Britons voted for Brexit? To escape the ever-growing tentacles of petty officialdom?

    • November 6, 2016 at 7:20 am

      See replies above. Why not wait and see?

      • The Cowboy Online
        November 6, 2016 at 5:57 pm

        Because when has any public body been granted additional powers and not abused them? (See Councils use of anti-terrorism powers to ensure parents live in the catchment area of the school they want their children to attend.) You have yourself said, MANY times, how such powers are only used to go after the easy targets while the deliberately anti-social thugs carry on as they were.

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