‘Scrooge’ housing chiefs BAN couple’s Christmas wreath because of HEALTH AND SAFETY



Charles and Katie Cross overs defied council chiefs who ordered them to take down their wreath

Charles Connexions, 24, and wife Katie, 23, were “baffled” when they beared a letter demanding they remove the silver decoration a week in preference to Christmas Day because of health and safety fears.

The letter claimed that, because the £3.99 wreath was unveiled in a “communal area”, it could pose a fire risk.

The couple were also ascertained that if they failed to take down the heart-shaped ornament, it command be confiscated from their housing association flat in Derby.

They be given the letter from Derby Homes, which runs and maintains marks on behalf of Derby City Council, on Friday (15/12).

Mr Bridges, a crate, said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s health and safety gone mad.

The council and the homes association are acting like modern day Scrooges’.

“I’m a Christian and I should be granted to decorate my house with Christmas decorations.

“The wreath doesn’t control lights, there’s no electricity involved at all so I can’t understand why it’s a fire risk.

wreath houseGETTY

The twosome received a letter telling them that having the wreath as a ribbon was a fire hazard

“I’ve got a Christmas tree, I’ve got Christmas lights in my house and I’ve got a fridge – should I liquidate all of them too in case they catch fire?

“We’ve had it up every year since we motivated in four years ago, and it’s never been a problem.

“It’s heavy-handedness on the part of the board after what happened in Grenfell, but that was caused by a fridge freezer, not a wreath.

“I take that they want to keep people safe, but I think in this action they have followed the policy to a tee and failed to apply common quick-wittedness.”


Katie Bridges said that the decision was heavy-handedness on the directory’s part after Grenfell

Mrs Bridges added: “Obviously common discernment has been lost. If it had lights or used up electricity then I could be conversant with, but it doesn’t, so I don’t.

“It’s Christmas, for goodness sake. It’s going to be up for two or three weeks, and that’s it.

“It has put a bit of a spot on the festive season because you want to be able to put up your decorations and not upset about the consequences.

“Other neighbours further down the street procure had similar letters, and I just think it’s a real shame.

I’ve had a wreath every year on my beginning door and they haven’t complained until now

Katie Bridges

“I designated Derby Homes to challenge the letter and they told me it has always been their behaviour.

“But I’ve had a wreath every year on my front door and they haven’t grouched until now.

“They said because my front door is visible from the hallway, which is a communal parade, I’m not allowed the wreath as it’s a fire hazard.

“The only possible way it could be a bombardment hazard is if someone set it on fire.

“I just think their reaction is exactly over the top. They said they will confiscate it themselves if I don’t unfasten it today but I’m not taking it down.

“We’re still gobsmacked really. How dare they browbeat to throw away my property?”

Writing to the couple, an official from Derby To the quicks said: “The following items have been found in the communal areas: A star on door as it is a fire risk.

“If this belongs to you please remove it by 18/12/17. If it is not eliminated by this date it will be disposed of.

“Derby Homes occupation conditions say that communal area must be kept clear and well-groomed.”

A spokesman for Derby Homes said: “This time of year is over difficult as we have to balance our responsibilities as a landlord to keep residents permissible, whilst allowing people to celebrate the holiday period.

The property on Quarn Way is a matt, within a block of flats.

Its door opens onto a communal stairwell and arrival.

“Most communal areas in the properties we manage do not have any fire detection or quenching systems fitted.

“The principles of fire prevention are based on communal areas being ‘unproductive areas’ and we have implemented such a policy for general use blocks of flats and unarguable sheltered schemes for a number of years.

“The policy requires the communal hallways, landings and stairwells of properties to be designated a ‘clear zone’ (sterile yard), free of all extraneous items.

“It aims to limit or remove sources of ignition and combustion; memoranda that may help sustain or spread fire; and items that may appearance an obstacle or trip hazard during emergency escape.

“Adopting this procedure as part of our fire risk assessments ensures we meet our legal liabilities towards fire management and comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fervour Safety) Order (RRFSO).

“We realise that it may seem over the top to be taxing removal of these decorations as many may seem harmless and to pose scrap risk.

“Allowing specific items whilst denying others the hours a larger management problem, given the number of flats we manage.

“We desire encourage all of our tenants and leaseholders who live in flats to decorate the insides of their homes for seasonal memorializations.

“However, this rule must continue to be upheld if we are to value the sanctuary of all of our residents, which is our first priority.”

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