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‘Scrooge’ council fines single mum £400 for leaving box next to bin at Christmas

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A single mum received a hefty fine of £400 for fly-tipping for leaving a single cardboard box next to her wheelie bin.

Lizzy Lawton was told to cough up after putting the box outside to be picked up on collection day.

The mum from Fenton left it next to her bin after saying she’d never been given a recycling box to use so saw no other option.

She was stunned to later receive a letter through her door from Stoke-on-Trent city council informing her that she’d been handed the penalty notice.

The council has now withdrawn the fine as a ‘gesture of goodwill’, reports Stoke-on-Trent Live.

The grandmother of Lizzy's five-year-old son, Samantha Arden, branded the fine 'ridiculous'.

Speaking before the fine was cancelled, the 43-year-old said: "Lizzy had put out her bin as usual.

"As she has never been issued with a recycling bin she put a box – a single cardboard box next to her bin – it was bin day after all. She just thought the men would take it.

"Lizzy then took my five-year-old grandson to school and on her return found that the council had issued her a fine to the tune of £400."

Samantha said the fine could not have come at a worse time.

"It's not right, it is so close to Christmas and Lizzy has very little income." she added. "It's also my grandson's fifth birthday and she has got both to think about.

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"It's a big chunk of money when she has my grandson's clothes and bills to pay for.

"My grandson has a rare gene issue and he's constantly needing things and new clothes.

"She's on her own with him and his dad and myself contribute as much as we can.

"Things are really tough for her as she's just lost a lot of money through the end of the Universal Credit uplift.

"It's one box, surely they could just take it. It doesn't make any sense, it's ridiculous. The council should be ashamed of themselves.

"If they had provided her with a recycling box in the first place then it wouldn't have been there.

"You’d think that the council could be a little charitable, but no the Scrooge’s expect her to find £400 for a cardboard box."

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After being contacted by StokeonTrentLive, Stoke-on-Trent City Council has waived the penalty notice.

A city council spokesman said: "We have reviewed the evidence around this, and as a gesture of goodwill, we will withdraw the penalty notice on this occasion.

"We must stress however that there are dedicated collection points for residents to leave their recycling waste."

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