Neighbours from hell - who cares a toss?

PEOPLE in the Weston area have shown little interest in helping defuse neighbours from hell-style arguments. Few volunteers have stepped forward to create a team of 'mediators' who will travel the area pacifying community spats that the council and police

PEOPLE in the Weston area have shown little interest in helping defuse neighbours from hell-style arguments.Few volunteers have stepped forward to create a team of 'mediators' who will travel the area pacifying community spats that the council and police have given up on.Non-profit organisation Mediation Somerset first appealed to set up the team in February, but cannot find the minimum of 12 people it needs to start.Thousands of pounds of lottery funding have already been granted to the group, but it cannot use the cash until it finds people to use it.It was hoped the volunteers could target problems like abusive behaviour, noise and boundary disputes, which ruin the quality of life for scores of people in the area each year.Teams have been set up in almost every other area of Somerset without much of a problem, but the apathy in the Weston area has led to just eight people stepping forward to fulfil the roles. A training course will start in June and Mediation Somerset is appealing for more people to join.Service manager Colin Gould said: "Normally we have no problem setting up the teams but here the response has been disappointing."We held a meeting and had eight along but it really isn't enough as if one or two drop out then it becomes a real struggle."We deal with the sort of issues you often see on television programmes like Neighbours From Hell - problems created by people living too close together basically."It's normally things like noise, abusive behaviour, animals, antisocial behaviour, boundary and hedging problems and issues involving children that we help with."* Anyone interested in becoming a mediation volunteer is invited to call the group on 01823 352210. All training will be funded by the grant.


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