Filthy Sheffield garden 'council's fault', says mum-of-seven

Ellen Barber with the rubbish in her garden.
Ellen Barber with the rubbish in her garden.
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A Sheffield woman has blamed the city council for the huge pile of rubbish in her garden.

Council house resident Ellen Barber was shocked to see a photo of bin bags piled high her yard on the front page of The Star this month.

Ellen in her home with son Reece Hardy, one

Ellen in her home with son Reece Hardy, one

The picture was sent in by a neighbour, who called it 'absolutely awful'.

But Mrs Barber, who has seven children, said she had repeatedly asked Sheffield Council for another black bin. She said she would be happy to pay.

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The 38-year-old, from Samuel Close, Norfolk Park, said: "I can't tip the bags in a field because I will get charged.

Ellen says she has asked the council for another black bin.

Ellen says she has asked the council for another black bin.

"I can't keep them in the house - the house is clean.

"I started putting them out the back and it started building and building. But I'm not getting any help from the council."

Mrs Barker said she people had been looking down their noses at her since her garden appeared in The Star.

But she said her neighbours struggled with full bins with just four people in their house - and she had eight.

She added: "They shouldn't judge me because of the garden being a mess. There are always two sides to a story."

Sheffield Council received 1,337 complaints about filthy gardens in the last year. Nearly 650 letters were sent to owners and tenants ordering them to clear up – with 109 legal notices served on those who failed to do so.

And council clean-up teams have had to clear waste piling up in 271 of the gardens.

Mrs Barker said she had been warned she could face a large fine if she did not clean up her garden.

A council spokesman said residents could 'quickly and easily' request a new black bin either online or over the phone. Larger households can request a bigger or extra black bin.

And despite Mrs Barker's insistence she had asked for a second bin, the spokesman said: “We have no record of a replacement or additional bin being requested at this property.

"However, we are actively working with the householder to help her improve the state of her garden, and this will include ensuring she has a bin.”

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