Take a look back at the top 12 controversial complaints from fuming Northampton residents in 2021

We've rounded-up the most controversial resident complaints from each month of this year

By Logan MacLeod
Thursday, 30th December 2021, 5:01 pm

Here's a look back at some of the most controversial complaints this newspaper has reported on in Northampton in 2021.

British people are famous for complaining, we all love a moan every now and then, some more than others.

But what have people been complaining about in Northampton this year?

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Ben Fostor (top left), the anonymous bed bugs woman (top right), and Anne Harris (bottom left and bottom right). Photos: Leila Coker

From grass verges being too long or too smelly, a dispute in Lidl, issues with shelf-stacking at Tesco, 'horrendous' traffic at a retail park or an infestation of bed bugs...take a look at the best complaints of each month this year.

January - 'Absolutely horrendous': Northampton retail park shopper exasperated by constant traffic jams 'caused by cafe drive-thru'

Regular traffic jams around a Northampton retail park apparently caused by a cafe drive-thru caused a frustrated shopper to call for change.

Shaukat Khan visits Sixfields Retail Park often to pick up prescriptions from Boots or online shopping orders from Next and M&S but was being left exasperated by the queues.

The queuing system around the Costa Coffee drive-thru quickly fills up, which then blocks the car park, causing more jams that sometimes go as far back as Gambrel Road.

Shaukat said: "It was absolutely horrendous... once it got to the stage where I couldn't wait any longer so I turned around in the queue, to the annoyance of some drivers I'm sure, and went home as it was that bad."

Click here to read the full story.

February - 'I will never shop there again': Northampton Tesco shopper fuming over 'unnecessary' shelf rearrangements

A Northampton Tesco customer was so angry with the supermarket rearranging its shelves during the coronavirus lockdown that they vowed never to shop there again.

The shopper found several items not in their usual places three weeks running during their weekly visit to the Weston Favell supermarket.

They were left unsatisfied with the response from staff when she complained about having to back-track and walk around unnecessarily looking for products.

The customer, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "This practice of reorganising shelves is highly annoying in peace time, but is it really sensible and safe to do this during a highly contagious, killer pandemic?"

Click here to read the full story.

March - Northampton flat tenant wants local authority to fix "NIGHTMARE" bed bug infestation

A 37-year-old woman who lives in a Northampton flat infested with bed bugs slammed the property managers for not fixing the issue, saying the lack of action was a "money-saving exercise".

The woman, who wishes not to be named, has lived in St Marks House, in Herbert Street, for four years and says she is on the verge of moving out due to the issue, which had lasted for six months.

Bedbugs are small insects that feed on blood from humans or animals. They can live in your bed, furniture, carpet, clothing, and other belongings. They’re most active at night, feeding on people while they sleep, according to health professionals.

Click here to read the full story.

April

"It's a complete nightmare": Northampton resident slams council over traffic chaos outside her home next to the tip

A Northampton resident slammed the council for a lack of organisation at a recycling centre in the town.

Sheryl Hadfield, from Ecton View, said she couldn't get out of her own property because of the long queues to get into Ecton Household Waste and Recycling Centre.

Sheryl said: "It's a nightmare. It's just getting worse everyday the tip is open. It's a complete nightmare for us.

"There have been arguments and people have got out of their vehicles. If this was someone else's entrance then I feel this would not be allowed to happen."

Click here to read the full story.

May - Northampton woman, 78, slams council over 'nightmare' grass waste outside home

78-year-old Anne Harris slammed the council over cut grass outside her home which had not been collected,.

She said the 'ginormous' patch of grass outside her home in Clipston Way, Duston, was cut by the council but the waste was left there on the green instead of put in a bin.

Anne said: "The grass is cut but it's just an absolute nightmare. There's just piles of cut grass. It's just ridiculous. The council has cut the grass and left it. They should put it in a compost bin, but it's just laying there.

"It stinks. It will now lay there until they cut it again, and that's however often they decide to cut it."

Click here to read the full story.

June - Northampton woman fears 'nightmare' school run could be harming unsuspecting student

A Northampton street with two schools in it was blasted as a 'pollution nightmare' by a concerned resident who lives nearby.

Rosemary Brown, who lives near both Malcolm Arnold Academy and Fairfield School in Trinity Avenue, described the daily school runs as 'chaos'.

Rosemary said: "I was absolutely shocked after Friday. I experienced first hand at 3pm on Friday the gridlock and pollution with the parents cars picking up children from Malcolm Arnold Academy, which were competing with the school buses trying to get out of Fairfield School.

"I was shocked - especially with all the warning that we are having regarding schools and pollution - that no one is addressing this problem."

Click here to read the full story.

July - Northampton woman, 79, slams 'incompetent' council AGAIN over grass verge saga

Anne Harris slammed the council AGAIN but this time it was for NOT cutting the grass verge outside of her Duston home.

Anne criticised the council's 'incompetent' grass cutting service which led to the large green patch outside her home not being cut for over a month.

The unhappy pensioner said: "When I stand in it it comes up to my knees, and I'm 5'5''.

"It was cut earlier this year and left to rot and smell. Now it's not being cut at all. I feel like we're forgotten about.

"The council said it can't keep doing it 'because of the environment', apparently. What about my environment? It's being downgraded all the while. This council is incompetent."

Click here to read the full story.

August - Store bans Northampton man from entering supermarket after incident in Northampton store

A Northampton man was banned from entering a supermarket in town after a heated exchange in store.

Ben Fostor, from Ecton Lane, was doing the weekly food shop on Sunday, August 8 at a store in Northampton, with his daughter when he was stopped by a member of staff who thought he had been shoplifting.

The incident descended into a heated exchange between Ben and the member of staff, leaving his daughter 'crying her eyes out', Ben said.

The 32-year-old dad said: "I said to the member of staff, 'I will prove to you now I have not shoplifted', so I stripped down and proved it.

"They chucked me out anyway and barred me for life. I told them, 'you have embarrassed me in front of the whole store'."

Click here to read the full story.

September - Council responds after residents complain about 'offensive' odours in Northamptonshire village

West Northamptonshire Council released a statement after investigating residents' complaints of "unpleasant" odours in the Nether Heyford area.

An agricultural practice called 'muck spreading' had been taking place in the village. This involves spraying fields with liquid manure, which will inevitably cause an unpleasant odour to linger around for a period of time.

Many Chron readers took to the Facebook comments section to give their two cents on the matter.

Click here to read the full story.

October - Northampton pensioner's bus lane 'nightmare' as council fines her 10 times and bailiffs threaten to take action

A 71-year-old Northampton woman said she was living a 'nightmare' as bailiffs threatened action over 10 unpaid bus lane fines.

Joy Dawson, who lives in assisted living accommodation in Upton, received 10 fines for driving in the controversial 24/7 St James' Road bus lane opposite Westbridge Garage.

The pensioner says she was initially unaware the bus lane was converted into a 24/7 operation and first drove in it on March 16 and continued to do so periodically until October, which is when she finally found out she had been breaking the rules.

She slammed the council, saying: "I didn't know I committed an offence. I have been driving in that bus lane for years and years. Then, all of a sudden, they put a camera up because the council has got nothing else better to do."

Joy had her fines rescinded in the end.

Click here to read the full story.

November - Outcry after 'appalling' destruction of Victorian paving stones in Northampton street

Residents of Phippsville vocally protested the 'sheer destruction' of late-Victorian paving stones that were chopped up to make room for underground works.

The works took place on Collingwood Road, Phippsville among others. The slabs were first laid in the late-Victorian period, making most of them well over 100 years old. But residents say they were not given any advanced warning that the work would be taking place.

Some said they were shocked to find that the slabs, rather than being lifted off and then replaced, had instead been chopped up, with some tossed into a skip to be replaced by black tarmac or shorter end slabs cut from larger ones.

Click here to read the full story.

December - 'I guess love isn't all around': West Haddon woman 'gutted' after receiving 'nasty' letter about her Christmas decoration

A West Haddon woman spoke of her dismay at a 'nasty' letter that was posted to her home anonymously to complain about her Christmas decorations.

Katie Coleman, 37,shared the letter on social media on Monday (December 6).

The anonymous note, typed out in giant bold letters, reads: "Well done for ramming your eye-sore 'Chris Biggins Panto' decorations on residence in this beautiful village."

Katie said: "We have had so many lovely comments from little kids in the village so we were absolutely gutted when a miserable grinch came along and left us that nasty note."

Click here to read the full story.