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Woman in Birmingham wins compensation after council fails to collect rubbish

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Birmingham City Council has recently been in the news after it paid out £100 to a woman for failed rubbish collections, which resulted in nappies, sanitary products, and rotting food being left in the street outside her house. The Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman found the council at fault for delays in responding to spillage and debris complaints, and a report published on March 3, 2023, said the woman was caused an injustice by the council’s actions

According to the report, the woman, referred to as Miss X, initially complained that the council had refused to provide her with a wheelie bin due to the steep steps leading up to her home. The council suggested she present household waste in refuse sacks, but Miss X claimed that animals often split open the bags, leaving their contents strewn across the street outside her home.

Despite repeatedly complaining to the council about the spilt waste, Miss X claimed that the council routinely failed to clean it up, leaving behind unpleasant and smelly rubbish such as nappies and sanitary products. The council’s records show that Miss X made three requests for street cleaning in September 2022 and two in October 2022, all of which were closed indicating that the street cleaning crew had turned up. However, Miss X provided photographs showing that the uncollected waste was still there several days later.

Following an investigation by the Ombudsman, the city council stated that moving a heavy wheelie bin up and down the steep steps was a health and safety risk and that there were no alternative arrangements it could make regarding the sack collections. The Ombudsman found that the council was not at fault for this, as Miss X’s property did not meet the criteria for a wheelie bin. However, the council was found at fault for failing to act on the complaints about foul-smelling rubbish left in the street.

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In response to the Ombudsman’s findings, the council agreed to apologize to Miss X and pay her £100 for the time and trouble she had been put through by the council’s failure to act. Cllr Majid Mahmood, cabinet member for environment, accepted the findings and stated that the council would take the steps outlined in the Ombudsman’s decision.

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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