A woman living in a tower block hit by a major fire says it “adds insult to injury” to be charged for the removal of fly-tipping.

Five families' homes were badly damaged by a fire at Abbey View in the Meriden after a fly-tipped sofa next to the tower's bins was set alight.

Since the incident just before 5am on July 12, fly-tipping has continued at the tower block.

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A letter from Watford Community Housing was left attached to a dumped wooden cabinet demanding its removal within 48 hours.

It added: “If you have not removed the items in that time, we will arrange for them to be removed with no further notice, and we will add any costs incurred to the service charge for your block.”

Joanne Hardy, who lives on the 14th floor, criticised the policy and said she and her two daughters are still suffering after the fire.

She said: “We have not been doing well since the fire took place.

“One of my daughters has mental health issues and it has worsened since the fire.

“To add insult to injury they want to charge us for fly-tipping.

“Anyone on the estate can dump things there, it might not be us.”

Ms Hardy, 58, had to make calls on Monday (August 1) when she saw a mattress dumped outside the block.

She said: “I don’t know who did it, but I called Watford Community Housing and to be fair it was gone within two hours.”

Watford Community Housing’s deputy chief executive Paul Richmond said: “As we are a not-for-profit charitable housing association, our income is from people’s rent and service charges, so all communal costs relating to the management of the block are ultimately paid for by residents – this would include dealing with fly-tipping.

“However, we have capped service charges in order to limit the individual cost to residents, especially at blocks with intensive management needs such as Abbey View and Munden View.” 

He said WCH has “a range of security measures” – including CCTV, barriers blocking vehicle access and a dedicated caretaker – and will always seek to prosecute fly-tippers.

“We will continue to provide all the support and reassurance we can around both fire safety and anti-social behaviour.”

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