Hitchin teacher hits out as Stevenage council bins court case

Wisden Road resident Alex Young has had her case dropped by Stevenage Borough Council

Wisden Road resident Alex Young has had her case dropped by Stevenage Borough Council - Credit: Archant

A TEACHER has hit out at a council for wasting taxpayers’ money after being taken to court over the placement of her wheelie bin.

Alex Young points to the ledge where the new slimline bins will go. Her current bin can be seen in t

Alex Young points to the ledge where the new slimline bins will go. Her current bin can be seen in the position which caused the dispute - Credit: Archant

Alex Young was taken to court by Stevenage Borough Council last month because the bin was 12 inches beyond the boundary of her Stevenage property.

Miss Young was due to return to Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on Monday to enter a plea but the borough council has now withdrawn the case against her after coming to an agreement.

The 47-year-old had been accused of failing to place “the receptacles as required for the purpose of avoiding a nuisance or detriment to the amenities of the area” under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

If found guilty, the Wisden Road resident could have been fined up to £1,000.

Miss Young, who teaches maths at Hitchin Boys’ School, said she appealed an initial £100 fine in August 2012 but was summoned to court without receiving a council response.

“When I appealed in August against the fine the council didn’t bother to talk to me,” said Miss Young, who has previously taught at Marriotts and Barnwell schools in Stevenage.

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“It could have been resolved months ago and taxpayers’ money could’ve been saved.”

Miss Young believes more time and money would have been wasted had solicitor Gennaro Baffa not stepped in after meeting her at the first hearing and offering to represent her for free.

She also contacted Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland who wrote to communities and local government minister Eric Pickles about the case, with a letter returned condemning the borough council’s actions.

“I feel let down by Stevenage Borough Council and I honestly do feel if it hadn’t been for Gennaro and the Government letter the council would have taken it all the way and that really upsets me,” said Miss Young.

“The council know most people can’t afford to take them on and that’s not right, we pay their wages.

“Going to court was one of the most humiliating experiences in my life. I hope no one has to go through it and hopefully because of my case now no one will.”

Miss Young has agreed with the borough council to put two slimline bins on a raised ledge outside her house when due for collection.

A borough council spokesman said: “Stevenage Borough Council has worked with Miss Young to reach an amicable agreement and the case has been withdrawn.”

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