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Letter to the Chief Executive, Western Challenge Housing Association

Related article:
"Elf and safety maniacs destroy OAPs garden" - The Sun, 16 August 2012
Response date:
16 August 2012

Dear Mr Webber,

I read with some concern a report in the Sun (Thursday 16th August) where it is stated that your organisation has placed a series of restrictions on garden furniture and decorations at a site in Bassett Lodge, Southampton quoting health and safety as the reasons for these restrictions. This has led to the Health and Safety Executive being asked to comment on your decision.

The examples quoted - rose thorns, pot plants, garden swings - would not under any normal circumstances be classified as health and safety hazards, and on the basis of what is reported it does appear that your inspection of the premises has taken a somewhat overzealous approach in citing health and safety as the reason for requiring the various articles to be removed.

We would therefore be very grateful if you could provide me with any additional information which led to your decision, including other reasons which may not have been reported in the press. It would also be helpful if you could advise us of your plan to resolve this matter with your tenants.

Yours Sincerely

Judith Hackitt CBE FREng
Chair, Health and Safety Executive

Updated 2012-08-16