Sheffield woman plagued by bees

Libby Clarke outside her Heeley home where a colony of bees has set up a nest
Libby Clarke outside her Heeley home where a colony of bees has set up a nest
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A disabled resident has been plagued by a bees nest for two years – because she cannot afford the stinging fee to have it removed.

Libby Clarke is being forced to kill scores of the insects every day when they fly into her home on Cambridge Road, Heeley.

She has repeatedly asked Sheffield Council if they can remove the nest on her roof, but has been told she must pay for the service despite her limited means.

The 50-year-old, who has mobility problems and uses crutches to get around, said: “This has been going on for two years, that’s when my ex-husband first reported it.

“Every time I call the council I am told I have to pay £42.

“It’s money that I just haven’t got spare. I’m having to kill up to seven bees every day that come into my house

“I’ve got severe mental health problems and other disabilities and I’ve said I can’t afford it, but it doesn’t make any difference.

“I rely on benefits so this is a massive proportion of the £100 a week that I get for all my bills and food.

“I’m at my wits end, this has been going on for too long.”

Although Libby said she had contacted the council several times, the authority said there was no record of any previous contact.

The fee to remove bee and wasp nests is £35 plus VAT for those on income related benefits.

Coun Jack Scott, cabinet Member for environment, said: “We are keen to speak to the resident concerned about the bees nest outside her home and urge her to contact our Environmental Services team on 293 0356.

“Our teams do not have a record of any previous contact with Ms Clarke.

“I don’t want to comment on this case without speaking to Ms Clarke first, but we do charge to get rid of bee and wasp nests as do all other councils, in part to make up for the massive cuts that have been imposed upon Sheffield by the government.”