Knives found dumped in St Albans communal garden
PUBLISHED: 19:00 29 July 2011
District council accused of not taking issue seriously
A MOTHER has hit out at St Albans district council for its slow response after she reported finding knives amongst rubbish dumped in a communal garden used by children.
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, discovered the small collection of knives, one of them a bread knife, in the garden she shares with other residents in Tudor Road last Wednesday afternoon.
Concerned about the contents and that it had been dumped on top of the children’s sandpit in the garden, the resident made several calls to the council but says she felt her concerns were being dismissed.
She said: “I got put through to several departments and eventually spoke to the Housing Department. I thought it might belong to some ex-tenants who had recently moved out and the council told me that they would get in touch with them to remove the rubbish. I imagined them typing up a letter the following day, such was the concern of the person I spoke with.
“It’s so frustrating that, given the potential level of danger, nobody seemed to care at all. I could have removed it but I had no idea what else was in there, so I contacted my landlord – the council – to help me make the area safe.”
The discarded items were thought to be from a previous tenant and the knives were part of a kitchen drawer which had been thrown into a bag with general rubbish.
She added: “I was just made to feel like I was being trivial about a bag of rubbish when my real concern was the safety of children, myself and others.”
The Herts Advertiser contacted the council on Thursday morning and was assured the rubbish would be collected that day. But the resident said she was still very unhappy with their reaction and said it was only press intervention that had prompted any response at all.
Karen Dragovich, head of housing at St Albans district council, said: “We apologise if there was any confusion about this. We always take the safety of children very seriously. Our management officer picked up a message from the team about this matter this [Thursday] morning. She now has the caller’s details and will ensure the knives are removed today [Thursday].”