I took the council to court over my messy street and WON – here's how I did it | The Sun

A DAD has told how he took the council to court over his messy street and WON.

John Calvin, 68, sued Brentwood Council, in Essex, for letting rubbish build-up in lay-bys on a busy A12 dual-carriageway that skirts the town.

The waste management expert snapped after seeing the constant pile over four years – fuming that council chiefs were flaunting their responsibility and ignoring his pleas for a clear-up.

He took photos of the rubbish and overflowing bins on a stretch between Chelmsford and the M25 motorway then applied for a magistrates court hearing himself.

Brentwood Council only avoided being served with a litter abatement order after a last-minute clean-up before the case was set to be heard.

John said: "It is galling that the council can flout its legal duty to keep land and highways free from litter and refuse for so many years – until a few weeks before the court action.

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“It is disappointing that it took the threat of court action to get something done after four years of appalling littering but the council has flouted its legal duty to keep highways free from litter.

“It should not have been necessary for a private individual to hold them to account to do their duty.

"This is what we pay our Council Tax for.“ 

Mr Galvin, whose Ingatestone home is less than half a mile from the A12, added: “They ignored my complaints.”

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“The magistrates agreed that I had no alternative and had acted fairly and thoroughly – and ordered the council to pay my £250 costs involved in bringing the case.

“They said that if the council had dealt with my complaints in a different way the hearing may not have been necessary.”

Mr Galvin’s complaint – brought under the 1980 Environmental Protection Act – stated that the authority was responsible for the removal of litter but that the A12.

He argued it had “remained heavily littered for years” – especially in the last 18 months.

A leading anti-litter campaign has welcomed Mr Galvin’s legal action against the council – and called for other local authorities to be challenged over their litter policies.

John Read, from “Clean Up Britain,” said: "Brentwood Council should be ashamed of themselves.

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“It's an appalling indictment of Britain's totally dysfunctional litter system that a member of the public has to take a council to court to get them to do the job they are paid to do.”

A spokesman for Brentwood Council said: ”We will not be issuing a statement in relation to the case other than to note that Brentwood Borough Council won.”

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