Council workers who mistakenly cut down a tree in a residential Luton street have now painted the stump pink for “health and safety reasons”.
The tree, thought to have stood in Riddy Lane for 35 years, and which usually bears pink blossom, was just meant to have a dead branch removed.
Luton Borough Council said the work order had been “misinterpreted”. A council spokeswoman said the tree had been painted “to prevent slip, trips and falls”.
Resident Diana Freeman said she had lived in the road for 22 years and each spring it could be relied upon to produce “loads of beautiful pink blossom”.
She said she phoned the council a couple of months ago to report one of the branches looked as though it had died.
“I thought they would just lop a little bit off,” she said. “I wish I hadn’t mentioned it now, it was gorgeous, there was nothing wrong with it.”
She said she was out when two men with chainsaws arrived, but a neighbour rushed out to try and stop the felling.
“He said that the council tree surgeons were adamant it had to be cut down,” she said.
She was astonished that pink blossom had now been replaced by pink paint to stop people falling over it.
“They must be joking, we thought it was to stop it sprouting again,” she said.
The council said it would replace the tree in the autumn.
“This was an isolated incident and we are not aware of any other mistakes of this nature,” the idiots said in a statement.
“All felled trees have the stump retained at approximately 1m high and the top painted with a florescent colour until they are removed. This is for health and safety reasons to prevent slip, trips and falls.”
A planned new statue of the Jolly Fisherman, mascot of Skegness in England, has been criticised as “ugly” after it was redesigned due to health and safety concerns.
For more than 100 years he has been greeting visitors to the seaside with his arms outstretched in welcome.
But now the Jolly Fisherman, the mascot of Skegness since 1908, has been ordered to adopt a less exuberant pose – on “health and safety” grounds.
The design for a new statue on the town’s station plaza portrays the fisherman with his arms clamped by his sides, holding a beach ball and patting a seal pup.
Council chiefs said the change was necessary to prevent children swinging on the arms, getting hurt and claiming compensation.
But they have agreed to reconsider the design after critics called it “ugly” and compared it to Buddha or a gargoyle.
Mark Anderson, the mayor of Skegness, said: “We don’t want people to make a farce of our logo and our town, and this to me is a farce.”
Anita Ruffle, a senior manager at Lincolnshire county council, said: “We are trying to keep his arms in because we did feel there was the issue of health and safety.”
A council spokesman said the aim was to avoid a design which would “entice children or whoever to swing on the arms of the statue, which might lead to some claims”.
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Well, well. More stupidity comes spewing forth from the UK. One has to wonder how the British people actually allow this nonsense to take place. This idiocy has already cost people their lives! Will the British people ever grow a backbone and stand up to this ‘health and safety’ craziness?
How many firefighters does it take to save a drowning seagull from a 3ft deep pond?
Onlookers in Carshalton pondered this question after health and safety rules prevented 25 firefighters from saving a stricken bird, which had become tangled in a plastic bag.
The farcical scenes at Carshalton Ponds on Saturday saw five fire crews scrambled to save the adult herring gull, which was struggling to survive in the ponds after getting its foot caught in the bag.
But after a health and safety assessment when the five crews arrived shortly after 2pm, it was deemed it was not safe for firefighters to wade out in the waist-deep water to save the floundering bird. After a stand-off, it was left to a wildlife centre volunteer to pull on his waders and walk out to save the bird.
Staff from the Riverside Animal Centre in Beddington were called out by the RSPCA to rescue the gull, instead of waiting for the arrival of a specialist London Fire Brigade water rescue unit so a “safe” rescue could take place.
Part-time staff member Adam Briddock, 20, part of the centre’s two-man team at the scene, pulled on a pair of waders and stepped out into the pond with a safety line, rescuing the bird and returning to shore within 10 minutes.
A member of the public became so concerned for the welfare of a bird they went home to get an inflatable boat in a bid to go out on the water themselves, but the craft was found not to be water-worthy.
An RSPCA spokeswoman described the situation at the ponds as “quite a scene”.
She said LFB arrived promptly after being requested to provide assistance because the RSPCA did not have suitable equipment to rescue the bird themselves.
But she said they left once they had assessed the situation they deemed it not appropriate for them to get involved.
She said: “We would like to thank the Riverside Animal Centre for their hard work in rescuing the gull, which we were delighted to hear was released the next day.”
Ted Burden, who runs the centre, said: “It was a bit ridiculous really. Five fire crews turned up, but because of protocols they couldn’t go into the water. It is health and safety gone mad really when you look at it, because the water was not really any more than waste deep.”
A fire service source said firefighters were sometimes frustrated by strict protocols, like not rescuing trapped birds, which sometimes did not fit actual scenarios firefighters were presented with.
The source said: “Although we have the facilities to effect a rescue, we are not allowed to do it for a bird. There is no leeway.”
The adult gull was taken back to the centre, dried out and fed, before it was released back into the wild the next day.
A LFB spokesman defended the numbers of firefighters sent out, saying it was a standard response to an animal being in trouble, and the firefighters were on hand in case a member of the public had tried to rescue the birds or the water rescue team had got into trouble.
Health and safety bosses have warned Scottish people not to eat daffodils. They fear some people might have the blooms for lunch instead of putting them in a vase and looking at them.
So they’re putting out the message that eating daffs can give you a nasty dose of sickness and diarrhoea.
Trading standards officer Steve Fox, of East Renfrewshire Council, admitted: “This may be a stange request. But we want to flag this up, especially to parents of young children who may be attracted to the daffodil’s vivid yellow colour.”
To most people, the warning will be a contender for the daftest health advice ever given. But 10 Chinese people had to go to hospital in England recently after eating daffodils they mistook for Chinese chives in a supermarket.
Dr Mark Evans, of the South West Health Protection Unit in England, said: “We want to ensure, in particular, that the Chinese community know how easily the daffodil stalk and unopened bud can be confused with Chinese chives.”
Dr Evans said daffodil poisoning was “very unpleasant” but most victims recover without treatment.
Idiotic Britain is at it again, where lunacy and lack of common-sense is now causing people to die.
Firemen and police who left a man floating face down in a 3ft-deep lake because they were not trained to enter the water might have saved him had they acted sooner, an inquest heard.
Simon Burgess, 41, drowned in a model boating lake after apparently suffering an epileptic seizure while feeding swans. A witness who dialled 999 described begging the first fireman on the scene to help Mr Burgess, but he refused because the water was above “ankle deep”.
Instead, emergency crews waited for a specialist water rescue team to arrive, meaning that Mr Burgess was not taken out of the lake until 28 minutes after the alarm had been raised. He was declared dead in hospital.
Gillian Hughes, 53, was feeding ducks with her grandson at Walpole Park in Gosport, Hants, when she saw Mr Burgess, a charity shop worker, in the water.
“He looked like he was swimming and had a smile on his face,” she told the inquest in Portsmouth. “The next minute he had stopped and was lying face down.”
She said she took off her boots to go in the water herself but her grandson was crying and she was unsure of the man’s state of mind, so she dialled 999.
The firemen arrived with the police and I said, ‘he’s only been there five or 10 minutes so if you hurry you might save him.’
He just said, ‘we’re not allowed,’ and I said, ‘but that’s your job.’
She added: “I believe one of the police went in to get him but was told he was not allowed.
I said to one of the firemen, ‘why don’t you go in?’ and he said they couldn’t if the water was higher than ankle deep.
I said, ‘you’re having a laugh.’ He said ‘no, that’s health and safety.’
Mrs Hughes said that, by the time a specialist crew arrived, Mr Burgess had drifted to the other side of the lake.
“After the incident I was unable to sleep because I kept blaming myself and now I have to live with it,” she added.
Dr Bret Lockyer, a pathologist, told the inquest that Mr Burgess, who had a history of epilepsy, appeared to have suffered a seizure and drowned.
“The seizure would have made it look like he was swimming and explains why he had a grin on his face,” he said.
Tony Nicholls, a watch manager at Gosport fire station, who was first on the scene, said: “The witnesses told me the body had been in the water for five or 10 minutes. There were no obvious signs of life so from that I made an assessment it was a body retrieval and not a rescue. The officers were trained to go into ankle deep water, which is level one, so we waited for level two officers, who can go into chest high. One of the police officers told me he would like to go in the water and I advised him in the strongest terms not to.”
Mr Nicholls’s superior, Tim Spencer-Peet, said he had been happy with the watch manager’s decision-making.
Coroner David Horsley recorded a verdict of accidental death.