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Norwich OAP's four-month battle - to get missing bin replaced

PUBLISHED: 16:00 10 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:35 02 July 2010

Matthew Sparkes

A Norwich pensioner has told of a four-month battle with city council officials - simply to get his missing bin replaced.

A Norwich pensioner has told of a four-month battle with city council officials - simply to get his missing bin replaced.

What began as a simple misunderstanding dragged on to become a frustrating saga for 71-year-old Mike Beardwood.

The retired man rents out a separate annex next to his home, in Telegraph Lane East, Thorpe Hamlet, and one day in early January a bin belonging to his tenant was stolen.

The tenant requested a new one, but when it was delivered by Norwich City Council, the workers took away Mr Beardwood's own bin by accident.

He immediately complained and since then he has had five visits from council workers and made numerous telephone and written complaints - all to no avail.

That was until the Evening News intervened and, yesterday, Mr Beardwood was delighted after he had a new bin delivered.

It ends a saga that, for four months, meant Mr Beardwood did not have anywhere to place his rubbish for collection.

He said that he felt “total frustration” at the situation, but also saw the funny side of how difficult it had been to get such a simple request answered.

The former businessman was born less than a mile from where he now lives and worked in the Middle East for 23 years before retiring and returning to the city in 2000.

He said: “I wrote a short letter to them [the council] and said 'look, you've stolen my bin'.

“But three or four months later we still hadn't got one. It's funny in some ways, but it's a pain in others.

“I got wound up after the fifth visit when the woman said 'It's our bin - we can't have stolen it'.”

He said that Norwich City Council had owned up to the mistake early on and promised to rectify it, but that a replacement was “always going to be in a few days time”.

A spokesperson for Norwich City Council said: "Unfortunately in this case there has been some miscommunication between ourselves and our contractors, who were instructed to replace a bin, rather than deliver an additional one for the other property.

"This has understandably been frustrating for the resident involved and we would like to take this opportunity to apologise for this situation.

Have you had a difficult time getting a complaint heard? Call reporter Matthew Sparkes on 01603 772439 or email matthew.sparkes@archant.co.uk.

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