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Home ยป Christmas ‘spoilt’ For Bedford Residents After Tree Taken Every Night

Christmas ‘spoilt’ For Bedford Residents After Tree Taken Every Night

Image source, Tony Fisher/BBC

Image caption, A Christmas tree had been on display at Boswell Court in previous years but residents have now been told it is ‘dangerous’

By Roberto Perrone & Tony Fisher

BBC News, Bedfordshire

People living in a block of flats said Christmas had been spoilt as they cannot have a plastic tree in their foyer unless a caretaker is present.

Housing association BPHA told residents in Boswell Court, Bedford, they were following advice of the fire service.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue denied issuing this advice.

A spokeswoman for BPHA said communal areas in high rise blocks were kept clear to avoid obstruction in the event of a fire.

Image source, BBC/Tony Fisher

Image caption, Michel has lived in Boswell Court for 14 years and said the tree had never caused issues in the past

Michel Haywood, 79, has lived in Boswell Court for the past 14 years and said he used to enjoy the foyer Christmas tree.

This year, however, the tree was removed when the caretaker finished their shift and brought back when they started work the next day.

Mr Haywood, told Roberto Perrone on BBC Three Counties Radio: “Now some authority has come along and said you can’t do this, it’s dangerous, you can only put it up and take it down when the caretaker is there.

“It’s bah-humbug, it’s going to spoil Christmas.”

Maria Knott, 72, also lives in the block and said the removal of the tree is “a bit ridiculous”.

“I think it looks lovely here, I don’t agree with them having to take it out each night,” she said.

Image source, BBC/Tony Fisher

Image caption, A caretaker removed the tree at the end of each day of work at Boswell Court

A spokeswoman for BPHA said the Building Safety Act 2022 recommended “a zero tolerance policy to any objects in communal areas.”

She added: “Unfortunately, this means the Christmas tree which had been on display in previous years can now only be in the communal area at a time when the caretaker was on site.

“We appreciate this might of caused some disappointment to residents.”

When approached for comment Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue said they had “not received a request for advice from BPHA about a Christmas tree at any of their premises.

The fire service added: “Our enforcement officers have not communicated with BPHA about the placement of their Christmas trees.

“There is a duty on the responsible person for the building to reduce the risk to persons from fire to as low as is reasonably practicable.”

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