Door mats ban overturned to brighten flats

Councellors overturned a health and safety ban on door mats in an effort to brighten up housing.
Door mats ban overturned to brighten flatsThe housing organisation in charge of Wolverhampton’s council homes were forced into a U-turn over a controversial ban on doormats and plants.

Wolverhampton Homes, which manages 23,500 properties for Wolverhampton City Council, removed carpets and door mats from communal areas in flats.

It has also banned net curtains on the communal entrances.

But Liberal Democrat councillor Richard Whitehouse got cross party support to overturn the rule at a meeting of the full council.

In a motion voted on he said: “In the interests of health and safety, this council demands that Wolverhampton Homes alters its policy on removal of carpets and mats from communal areas of flats.

“Furthermore, this council demands that the use of net curtains at the communal entrance to electronic door entry flats and the placing of ornaments and plants on communal balconies, not passageways, of two storey maisonettes be allowed to continue.”

Councillor Whitehouse said “Residents have said the flats look drab and unwelcoming now.  I do not see how there is any fire risk from plants and door mats, especially as I remember 20 years ago when we had to paint the walls with fire proof paint.”

Dave Cocker, secretary of Graiseley Tenants and Residents’ Association, said: “I think common sense should prevail. I cannot recall and incident where a doormat has ended up a fire hazard.  They have been part of British life for generations.”

Tenants who flouted the rules faced heavy fines or even jail, it has emerged. Pot plants, pictures and other items were outlawed last year.

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