Grinch care home tells grans to remove Christmas wreaths or get fine

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Elderly care home residents have been threatened with £120 fines if they don't take down Christmas decorations.

Hyde Housing said they would charge anyone with a wreath on their front door or a Christmas tree in the corridor, claiming they are a 'fire hazard.'

The housing association, which residents have branded 'worse than Scrooge' said that they cannot find the "culprit" they will share the cost between all the residents.

The letter from Hyde Housing property manager Emma Oliver said: "We have a legal duty to ensure all communal areas are kept free from obstructions [including trip hazards] and fire risks.

"Christmas decorations and door wreaths are not allowed as they are considered highly combustible.

"I will attend with the removal team and if the items are still there, I will have them removed and the cost of removal will be recharged to the block if I cannot find out who these materials belong to.

"The cost of these removals is estimated at £120. We will re-charge this to the block or to the individual where we know who this is."

But David Geoghegan, 69, who lives in Joseph Conrad House in Canterbury told Kent Online that the threat was 'heavy-handed.'

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He said: "Residents have been talking about how upsetting the letters were, and lots of us felt it was uncalled for and heavy-handed.

"It's Christmas and there is no goodwill in it. The threat of sending people to remove Christmas trees and wreaths – we don't need that, and we are really upset.

"I can't see how a wreath is a fire hazard because millions of people have them."

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Another resident, John Allan, 72, also cannot understand how wreaths pose a fire risk, "unless someone comes and sets alight to them".

He said: "I came here because it was individual living, so you can get on with your own life, but everything that is being done is being inspected and complained about.

"It is not a very happy environment at all. Some of the ladies who live here are quite upset about the whole situation."

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