All the farm’s a stage af­ter fly-tip

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE - by Nick Cullen

WHO are you go­ing to call if some­one dumps three tons of stag­ing on your doorstep?

Not the coun­cil, as a Mer­sham man dis­cov­ered last week.

When Mike Poole tried to leave his farm just out­side the vil­lage at 9.30am last Wed­nes­day morn­ing, he found his way blocked by pieces of an out­door arena stage, stacked for 50 ft up his drive.

He said: “The pieces were made up of very thick wooden pan­els screwed onto solid metal frames, four or five feet high and 12 feet wide, and they were com­pletely block­ing the drive.

“It was ex­tremely hard for a hu­man be­ing to climb over, let alone get a car through. It was as if Ge­n­e­sis couldn’t be both­ered to take their rub­bish home with them when they left the sta­dium.

“I rang the po­lice and they no­ti­fied Kent County Coun­cil, who passed it to Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil. They phoned me at 2pm.

“They said we can’t spend pub­lic money clear­ing up your private drive. I said can you give me the num­ber of a com­pany I could use to move it, they said ‘no, sorry’.”

For­tu­nately for Mr Poole and his fam­ily, who were trapped on the farm, help was at hand from a neigh­bour and two com­mu­nity war­dens. With their help, he was able to move the stag­ing and stack it on the side of the drive.

Blocked

He said: “We spent about 40 min­utes mov­ing it piece by piece. It was as much as any of us could do to move one of the units.”

Kent Po­lice spokesman Jon Green said: “We were no­ti­fied by Mr Poole about his drive­way be­ing blocked. We li­aised with the coun­cil to clear it.

“We have taken some de­tails to see if had been stolen and dumped at the scene in a hurry, or if in fact it was fly-tipped.

“Any­one with in­for­ma­tion, please con­tact Ash­ford po­lice sta­tion on 01233 896281 or Crimestop­pers on 0800 555111.”

Al­though he can now get in and out, Mr Poole is still un­able to move the stag­ing him­self, al­though he was able to think of an al­ter­na­tive use for it.

He said: “Maybe there’s a lorry of mi­cro­phones and am­pli­fiers that have been dumped on some­body else’s drive, and we can have a fes­ti­val called Mer­sham­stock.”

Lo­cal com­mu­nity war­dens Paul Jar­man and Peter Beasley, help to clear up stag­ing aban­doned on a farm drive­way near Mer­sham

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