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Saturday, 1 June, 2002, 13:25 GMT 14:25 UK
'Hoax' jubilee bunting fine
Bunting
Letter warned of need for bunting licence
A hoaxer has been sending letters threatening to fine householders for displaying jubilee bunting, say officials of Southwark Council in London.

Jackie Shelton, of Delwayk Road, Dulwich received a letter, apparently from the authority, warning her of a fine unless she removed bunting from her house.

It said she needed a licence for the decorations.

But a spokesman for Southwark Council told BBC News Online that the letter was a "hoax" or "scam" and no such licence was needed.

250 fine

Mrs Shelton's home is one of eight houses on an estate which has been decorated for a party on Monday.

On Saturday morning, she received the letter which said she had not applied for a licence to put up bunting and would be subject to a 250 fine if she did not take it down.

The letter said the bunting might offend ethnic minorities in the area.

Mrs Shelton said one of those organising the party was Algerian.


We are advising people who receive this letter that we think it is a scam and they should contact the police

Southwark Council spokesman

Mrs Shelton said: "Some of our neighbours are from the ethnic minorities and they think (the letter) is ludicrous.

"All their houses are decorated."

Nobody else in the road has had such a letter.

'Total hoax'

A Southwark Council spokesman told BBC News Online on Saturday: "It is a total hoax.

"I have spoken to the head of environmental services, and our policy on street parties is that we won't levy charges on anything.

"There is no bunting licence. We are advising people who receive this letter that we think it is a scam and they should contact the police.

"I am quite shocked by the letter."

When told of the council's view that the letter was a hoax, Mrs Shelton said she was pleased the council had looked into the matter.

She said if it was a hoax, the hoaxer had succeeded in fooling her.


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