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Mum calls for help on 'out of control' garden
By

WHILE many of us have been using our back gardens for sunny barbecues, one Hatfield mum is simply wishing she could set foot in hers.

When Rebecca Khoshnoodi, 27, looks out of her back door she is faced with a seven foot high impenetrable mass of brambles, weeds and bushes.

Rebecca moved into her council house in Maryland two years ago but despite repeated pleas to Welwyn Hatfield Council the authority has yet to sort out the garden, which was left to grow wild by the previous tenant.

Rebecca, who is juggling motherhood with studying floristry at Oaklands College in , says she and her two-year-old son Harri are desperate to use the garden.

She said: "Harri would love to be able to play out there but instead we have to go round to family or friends' gardens.

"He can't play out in the front garden because it's not safe.

"I can't put my washing outside to dry and I have to put all my rubbish out at the front.

"One of the reasons for wanting a house was for a garden because I have a young child. I might as well be living in a flat."

Rebecca said she has telephoned and written to the council numerous times since she moved in.

She said: "The garden was pretty horrendous to start with. It was up to about waist height and it was full of paint cans, furniture, wires and thousands of cigarette butts it was a junk yard.

"The council said it would get someone round in a couple of weeks to cut everything down and the rest was up to me.

"After about six months of complaining they sent two guys round to clear the rubbish but they left some of the things, which are still out there."

Last summer Rebecca's mother complained to the council and Rebecca's ward councillor Colin Croft contacted it on her behalf, but still no action was taken.

Rebecca said: "I've seen rats out there and so have the neighbours and the drain keeps getting blocked, which smells really bad.

"The neighbours even complained to the council as well to try and help me.

"Some friends and I tried to sort it out but it was just impossible, I don't have the tools. It needs some serious chemical treatment to sort out the weeds.

"If it had been tackled in the first couple of weeks it would be all right, but now it's completely out of control."

A spokesman for Welwyn Hatfield Council said: "Some work was ordered for the tenant's garden in October 2004, soon after she moved in.

"This is what we call a one-off cut and clearance' to put the garden into a condition that the tenant can then maintain.

"It is then contractually the tenant's responsibility to maintain the garden.

"We have recently received a request for an inspection of the garden from the tenant and have now arranged a re-inspection."

8:46amThursday15thJune2006

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