The first community protection notice to be issued in Leeds has landed a Harehills couple in court.
The legal notice, under Section 43 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, was issued to Eugen Onody and Vlasta Kalokova.
Environmental action officers were called to investigate complaints of furniture being left in the garden of Onody and Kalokova’s Harehills Lane home in October 2014.
Officers gave Onody and Kalokova 14 days to remove the furniture and advice on the services available to help them do that, but the waste remained after the deadline and the pile of rubbish had grown.
With no action being taken, the community protection notice was issued.
The legal notice requires people to clear the land in question and have the waste disposed of appropriately within 28 days.
Despite further reminders and discussions with environmental action officers, the garden still had not been cleared in January 2015.
Officers issued Onody and Kalokova with a £100 fixed penalty notice for not complying with the community protection notice. As the council removed the waste, Onody and Kalokova could be billed for costs.
Despite a reminder, the penalty remained unpaid so Onody and Kalokova were called to appear before magistrates last week.
Both were found guilty with Onody being fined £200 and ordered to pay costs of £93.50 and £20 victim surcharge. Kalokova was fined £270 and ordered to pay costs of £93.50 and £27 victim surcharge.
Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental protection and community safety, said: “Our environmental action officers invest a significant amount of their time advising people so they have a clear understanding of their responsibilities when it comes to waste.
“Although rubbish might be stored in your garden, you can’t underestimate the impact this may be having on your neighbours and community.
“Although we much prefer to help people to maintain a sense of pride in their own neighbourhood we will always seek to prosecute in those cases where other efforts have failed.”