Published: 00:01, 25 November 2017
A teacher has attacked the council after she was given an £80 littering fine following the discovery of a birthday card envelope bearing her son’s name in a city car park.
Nayelli Navarro was issued with a ticket by enforcement officers who found the envelope inside a cardboard box in Pound Lane, Canterbury, and traced it back to her address.
But the mum-of-two insists she safely stored the box next to her bins and believes it must have been kicked down the road by a passer-by.
“It was my son’s birthday on the Monday and he got a set of golf clubs,” she said.
“What we’ve always done for the last 10 years is leave any empty boxes outside next to the bins and it all gets cleared on a Friday.
“I wasn’t even thinking about it and then I opened my post and saw the fixed penalty notice.
“It said the golf club box had been found in the car park.
"They looked inside it and found the envelope with my son’s name and traced it back to me. I’ve now been told I must pay £80 for littering.”
Mrs Navarro, who manages a tutoring agency, believes she is being treated unfairly and describes herself as a good citizen.
“I often clear up rubbish left by passers-by and not cleared properly in the street,” she said.
“I’m trying to keep it looking nice where I live – we’re a nice community. Someone must have kicked the box down the road. I’m not a litterbug.
“I wrote to the council but they will not revoke the ticket as they say it is my responsibility to keep my rubbish safe until collection.”
Mrs Navarro is also accusing the council of being hypocritical, claiming the authority has ignored her pleas to clear an alleyway which runs along the back of her property.
She said: “Behind our houses there is a little strip of land and this has broken fence panels, old street signs and other council rubbish which I’ve asked to be cleared.
“Yet they have the cheek to charge me. I’d like to find out if I can issue them with a fixed penalty notice for leaving rubbish at the back of my garden.
“It’s been like this for the last eight years and nothing has been done.”
Spokesman for Canterbury City Council Rob Davies says it is the responsibility of individuals to ensure their waste is looked after and put out for collection on the correct day.
He said: “In this case, the large cardboard box and plastic packaging belonging to Mrs Navarro was found in the car park, some distance from her property, in Pound Lane on Tuesday, November 7, three days before the Friday collection.
"Had she put it out on the Thursday night or Friday morning, it is highly likely this wouldn’t have happened.”
He said the fixed penalty notice has been correctly issued.
“We are concerned to hear of the issue Mrs Navarro has raised about rubbish in other locations and have asked her to let us know about specific sites as quickly as possible so that we can investigate,” he said.