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Man has noise-making equipment removed from home in Clerk Bank, Leek

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: December 20, 2013

By Post & Times reporter

MARTIN Luther King's inspirational 'I Have a Dream' address became a nightmare for residents in a Leek Street.

But now people in Clerk Bank are now enjoying the sound of silence thanks to action taken by the district council and its partners to remove 19 items of noise making equipment from a neighbour's property.

A warrant was executed under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 enabling a partnership of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, the police and the housing association to remove items such as televisions, radios and speaker systems, from the home of Norman Glyn Thompson, aged 68, at 13 Clerk Bank. The action comes after complaints from neighbours about loud music - and Martin Luther King's 1963 speech - being played by Mr Thompson.

Other nuisances included Christmas hits including Frosty The Snowman.

A statement from the council said he repeatedly ignored requests from police and council officers to turn the volume down and play it at reasonable levels.

Councillor Gill Burton, cabinet member for communities, praised the partnership between the council, the police and the housing association which led to the warrant being executed.

She said: "This man had caused nuisance and distress to his neighbours and repeatedly ignored requests from both the police and the council to turn down the noise.

"As a result, we and our partners were left with no choice but to act in the interests of the wider community and remove the items from his property.

"We cannot stand by and allow residents to suffer at the hands of the minority.

"I hope that the action we have taken in this case will encourage others to think about the impact their actions could have on their neighbours and to behave responsibly."

The equipment that was removed will be stored by the council for at least 28 days.

It will only be returned on payment of a charge which takes into account the cost of the enforcement action and storage of the items.

Mr Thompson described the removal of his equipment as "a conspiracy" and vowed to sue the council if any of it is damaged.