DCSIMG

We get council to stump up ...

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Storm-weary council staff told a single mum they could not help her after two giant trees crashed down from a park into her garden.

Terrified Padmini Veeren heard the ash trees crash through her fence, splinter her shed and land inches away from her house at 3am on Saturday.

She went out to a scene “resembling a war zone” with her garden completely blocked by trunks and branches.

But a plea to the council left her stumped. For she was told it was HER responsibility to shift the trees and repair the damage they had caused.

“I couldn’t believe my ears,” said Virgin Trains worker Padmini, who lives on the Lakes Estate’s Santen Grove. “Despite the fact that the council owned the trees, they told me they couldn’t help because I owned my own house. It’s an ex council house that I bought seven years ago.”

She spent three days in tears, dreading a bill for thousands of pounds from tree surgeons, before contacting the Citizen.

We spoke to the council press office and within an hour environmental health staff had contacted Padmini at home – to apologise.

“They were lovely. They promised to come and clear the trees from my garden and they even said I can claim for my ruined fence shed and all the things in the shed on the council’s insurance,” said Padmini, 34, who has a 14-year-old son.

“I cannot thank the Citizen enough for coming to the rescue. I feel truly lucky that my son and I escaped injury that night and lucky that I thought to contact the Citizen.”

A council spokesman said: “These trees are owned by Milton Keynes Council, and we will be removing them as soon as possible. We apologise for any misunderstanding.”

Council staff were rushed off their feet dealing with the effects of the weekend storms, which saw 60 trees uprooted and dozens damaged all over the city. Many worked round the clock on Friday and Saturday taking calls from worried members of the public and sending out crews to deal with immediate dangers.

“Our priority has been to make safe any trees that still pose a hazard,” said the spokesman.

 

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