Hendon man told to take down Christmas lights by neighbour

This Is Local London: Retired paramedic Mr Deeley stood his ground and refused to take down the lights Retired paramedic Mr Deeley stood his ground and refused to take down the lights

A grandfather says he has lost some of his Christmas spirit after his festive decorations raised health and safety fears.

Ian Deeley, of Lower Fosters, West Hendon, adorned his outside window with red fairy lights to celebrate his favourite time of year – but his excitement soon turned to anger.

He also put small Christmas trees on the window sill - but Barnet Homes received a complaint that his lights were a fire risk and had requested they be taken down.

The 60-year-old has since branded the situation as “elf and safety gone mad” after housing officers sided with him and agreed the lights are acceptable because they are not in a communal area.

He said: “Everyone I’ve spoken to say they love what I’ve done in my window. I was just trying to spread a bit of Christmas happiness and joy to everyone in the community.

“It’s such a warm time of year, and I really love it and even though I won’t let it spoil my Christmas, it did put a bit of a downer on everything for a while.”

Ever since his wife Maureen died ten years ago, Mr Deeley has done his best to get into the Christmas spirit – and said the stress of the situation added to his grief.

As well as the icicle lights, he also put a small Christmas tree up on his windowsill and a wreath on his front door.

Retired paramedic Mr Deeley is now relieved he stood his ground and refused to take down the lights.

He added: “If I thought it posed any risk I wouldn’t have put them up in the first place.

“Everyone else has put their lights up now so I don’t see what the problem is. How on earth can a few lights be a fire risk? It’s ridiculous.”

A statement from Barnet Homes said: “We received a complaint from a resident who was concerned that Mr Deely has put up Christmas decorations which could pose a fire safety risk in the block.

“His housing officer contacted Mr Deely of his neighbours concerns and Mr Deely said that he did not wish to remove the decorations.

“As a result of this conversation the Housing Officer carried out a site visit this afternoon and found no Christmas decorations in the communal area at this time.

“Mr Deely did have Christmas decorations in his own window which is perfectly acceptable.”

Comments (1)

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10:34pm Wed 11 Dec 13

Neville Longbottom says...

Elf, was that a terrible pun or a misspelled word?
Elf, was that a terrible pun or a misspelled word? Neville Longbottom

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