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Hickling couple accused of anti social behaviour and threatened with eviction – because they feed garden birds

PUBLISHED: 07:56 11 February 2015 | UPDATED: 12:15 11 February 2015

Eric Goleby from Hickling who has been told by Victory Housing that he has to stop feeding birds in his garden.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Eric Goleby from Hickling who has been told by Victory Housing that he has to stop feeding birds in his garden. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

A Hickling couple have been threatened with legal action and eviction – for feeding the birds in their garden.

Eric Goleby from Hickling who has been told by Victory Housing that he has to stop feeding birds in his garden.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYEric Goleby from Hickling who has been told by Victory Housing that he has to stop feeding birds in his garden. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Retired Eric and Sally Goleby have left mixed corn outside their bungalow on Barnfield Close for the 42 years they lived there.

But Victory Housing Trust, who own and manage the social housing, ordered the pair to stop because of damage caused to vehicles in the area.

Mr Goleby, 74, was told – in a letter entitled ‘anti-social behaviour case’ – that if they continue to feed the animals, they may face legal action, prosecution or loss of their tenancy.

A spokesman for Victory Housing said the complaint from a neighbour had been investigated and the case is now closed because no problems were found. He said Mr Goleby should have no fear when feeding the birds.

What to feed garden birds

During the winter, the RSPB say to put out food and water on a regular basis. In severe weather, feed twice daily.

And during the summer months, birds require high protein foods, especially while they are moulting.

There are different mixes for feeders and for bird tables and ground feeding. According to the bird charity, the better mixtures contain plenty of flaked maize, sunflower seeds, and peanut granules.

People should seed mixtures that have split peas, beans, dried rice or lentils. And any mixture containing green or pink lumps should also be avoided as these are dog biscuits, which can only be eaten when soaked.

Hygiene is important and people are urged to make sure bird feeders are clean and free from droppings or mouldy food.

But the tone of letters sent to people will now be reviewed by Victory Housing Trust because of the Goleby’s case.

But Mr Goleby, a former factory worker, who cares for his disabled wife Sally, 66, around the clock described the letter as “threatening” and “crazy”.

He said: “After living in Hickling all my life, this hurts. It’s not anti social. It’s a real privilege to be able to see the birds come to feed.

“Our life would be bare without the birds, we have always fed them throughout the years because we love wildlife.”

The letter accused Mr Goleby of throwing food waste into his and neighbouring gardens.

But he says he buys the feed from a pet shop in Stalham and puts it on the bird table and bird feeders, attracting species ranging from pigeons, to jackdaws, starlings to pheasants.

Charity the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said feeding garden birds is key to their survival during winter when food is scarce.

Do you have a story about the Broads area? Email rosa.mcmahon@archant.co.uk or call 01603 772453

22 comments

  • So the caring housing association send out a threatening letter frightening an elderly couple and when the local newspaper gets involved the housing association finally get round to investiigating the complaint?,then they find there is no case to answer1,why don't they do their homework and look into the allegation firstly before frightening innocent people?.

    Report this comment

    Fred Browning

    Thursday, February 12, 2015

  • Instead of sending a letter asking to be contacted why didn't Charlotte Mcknespley get off her butt and pay a visit, or is Victory Housing based somewhere far away ?

    Report this comment

    codcatcher

    Thursday, February 12, 2015

  • The same officer told my wife, over the phone, that we were in breach of our tenancy for having cctv installed at our home (it had been installed for nearly 2 years). She was told we had to stop recording immediately until we had written permission to have it installed. Victory Housing were aware we have had the cctv installed as it was used in a previous ASB incident. My wife suffers from anxiety attack and the tone this officer used was very intimidating.

    Report this comment

    David Dunham

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • @Norfolkjohn - what a comment, I should imagine you're a younger git as opposed to an older git other wise you would know that Council accommodation 42 yrs ago (and before that) was purpose built for the purpose of people on low incomes or no income at all etc etc. If you're the latter, an older git then you should think before you let your keyboard warrior fingers any where near a keyboard.

    Report this comment

    Sayitlikeitis

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • Ever since l moved into my house in 1980, l have fed the small birds from food purchased at the store, but the woman who live over the back of my house chucks her leftovers into her garden every day, and between 20 and 30 Gulls fly down unto her garden, and you can always guarantee they will crap in our gardens, over windows, garden furniture, cars, and washing on the lines, the Gulls nest on the old Bally shoe factory site, hope they disappear when they finally pull the old factory down.

    Report this comment

    gravedigger

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • Good to see @Norfolk John continuing to post his caring comments. Oaf.

    Report this comment

    arfur

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • ...."The bigger question here is, how can someone be allowed to stay in cheap subsidised councilsocial housing for 42 years?"....true, he must have stashed all the £millions he has saved in an HSBC tax-evading account in Switzerland.

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • The bigger question here is, how can someone be allowed to stay in cheap subsidised councilsocial housing for 42 years?

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    Norfolk John

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • Iceni warrior... The individual who made the complaint was moved into the area from victory because they had made the same problems with her neighbours at their previous victory property. They have made several "complaints" about many other residents on the close. Maybe Victory should send them a letter about their anti social behaviour by causing stress & distress to neighbours that have lived along side each other for decades with no issues!!! This individual is the problem!

    Report this comment

    Missy

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • Did Victory housing withdraw their brutal threat before or after the whole affiar was made public? Surely,if a complaint is made it should be investigated prior to action. In this case it seems that the complainants word was taken carte blanche. Paper shufflers, private and government, are a breed apart. Having little regard for the stress they cause to the vunerable.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • Another 'non-story' , Victory received a complaint which they are obliged to investigate. They wrote & informed him of this & following the investigation found that he was not in breach of his tenancy agreement & had no case to answer. He's not threatened with prosecution , eviction or anything else & never has been. All he's achieved is possibly damaging his relationship with his landlord.

    Report this comment

    Dick Turnip

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • What horrible bullies. Clearly Victory Housing needs to employ staff with better manners & a less thug like attitude towards it's tenants.

    Report this comment

    el84

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • How silly couldn't get round to visit, to check out if there was a problem. Over authoritative, uncaring, and insensitive.

    Report this comment

    Gina

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • If it was me , I'd leave the house belonging to Victory Housing & buy my own place.Then I could act without concerns of breaking a tenancy agreement.

    Report this comment

    Dick Turnip

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • What an irresponsible way to treat people - Victory Housing should be investigated for bullying pensioners. Any responsible person or organisation would check the facts first before sending that type of letter.A very unprofessional way to run a so called "charity". It seems that aspects of the Victory Housing website are not to be believed.

    Report this comment

    Port Watcher

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • "Food being thrown into your garden and neighbouring gardens" Has it crossed Mcknespiey's mind that it is the birds who are dropping the food in other peoples gardens and not him, or is that a too intelligent thought for her ?.

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    "V"

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • Over the top. However, we live on the coast and the neighbour feeds the seagulls!! Now that 'is' mad.

    Report this comment

    One Horse Town

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • isn't victory housing a charitable housing association it seems not so when someone is being charitable to wildlife I agree they should have investigated properly before sending letters out birds tend to drop food from their beaks when flying so that's why food was in other gardens etc but then then some some office bods don't even know what a bird is nowadays

    Report this comment

    i am mostly wrong??

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • Very glad to read that the case is now closed because "no problems were found", like 1000's of others, I too love seeing the birds and wildlife in my garden, it brings much pleasure.

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    catalonia13

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • Why didn't Victory Housing investigate first before sending the letter?!

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    Lynda

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • A little heavy handed there. Victory should have sent a note saying there had been a complaint and could they come and have a chat. They would then have seen the complaint was unfounded and could have reassured Mr and Mrs Goleby that there was nothing to worry about. A perfect example of how not to do it.

    Report this comment

    Cyril the Canary

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • Iceni Warrior Asks - will the person who made invalid complaint be investigated now?

    Report this comment

    Iceni Warrior

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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