Burton and South Derbyshire’s angriest people of 2021

The year 2021 put everyone through the ringer as covid spread misery across Burton and South Derbyshire. However, some people had other reasons to be upset – and they were not shy about showing it. We have looked through our stories from the year and picked out some of the people who had reason to be angry.

top stories from Burton and Swadlincote Whether they lost their temper over a lack of sleep, saw their chickens drown due to blocked drains or hit out over dodgy parking on their street, they were all positively livid about something.

Hammer-waving delivery driver struggling to sleep

The attack led to residents coming into the street after hearing the commotion

A delivery driver waving a hammer woke a Burton street in anger when he was struggling to get to sleep. Pawel Wodzynski’s actions in Derby Street, Burton, were heard at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court, which was told how a number of residents to came out of their homes when the delivery driver first appeared.

One witness recalled seeing the 30-year-old hit a man with his weapon as he took the defendant to the floor in a struggle. The extent of the injuries to the person hit with the hammer by Wodzynski were not revealed during the hearing. Jailing him for 18 weeks, suspended for a year, District Judge Andrew Meachin said: “Possession of an offensive weapon in a public place is a serious offence for whatever reason you are carrying it.”

The offence happened in Derby Street, where then defendant was then living, at 10.30pm on May 31. The court heard Wodzynski hit a car with the hammer and shouted, with neighbours coming outside to see what was happening. The defendant, who had moved to Oakenfield, Lichfield, pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon in public and to a second charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

Helen Bennett, his solicitor, told the hearing her client worked nights as a delivery driver and at the time of the offence was struggling to sleep. Read the full story here.

Burton residents with van abandoned outside their homes for 14 weeks

Burton and South Derbyshire's angriest people of 2021A resident highlighted how long she claimed the truck had been left on the pavement.

A flatbed truck caused anger in May after it was abandoned on the pavement – reportedly for almost four months. The white truck was blocking access for wheelchairs or pushchairs, parked partly on a pavement on the corner of Ashbrook and Dunstall Brook in Brizlincote Valley.

Sandie Williams, resident and Neighbourhood Watch coordinator for the Dunstall Brook and Ashbrook area, reported the truck to the police and councillors. But she said she had been told that while it was taxed and had a valid MoT certificate, it could not be moved. Mrs Williams said she would be accused of theft if she had it towed away.

So she placed stickers on the truck highlighting how long she claimed it had been parked there.” The truck was full of junk, including clothing, wrappers and cans, Mrs Williams said. A two-week notice was placed on the vehicle by East Staffordshire Borough Council, the resident told StaffordshireLive.

Read the full story here.

Couple whose chickens drowned on their wedding day

Burton and South Derbyshire's angriest people of 2021Geoff and Lucinda said they have been ‘let down’ by the authorities

A couple whose chickens drowned on their wedding day were furious over blocked drains in September. Lucinda and Geoff Cooper felt ignored by the authorities as their garden and driveway flooded regularly, leaving a trail of dirt and debris behind. Geoff, a former Royal Navy engineer, said the garden flooded due to the drains up the road towards the Cadley Hill Roundabout being completely blocked and overgrown.

They were calling on the council to clean up the road and unblock the drains near their home in Woodland Road, Stanton. Geoff’s wife Lucinda, a former trainer, said at the time: “There has always been flooding on the road. I remember it flooded on our wedding day.

We had chickens at the time and they all drowned.” A Derbyshire County Council spokesperson said at the time there was an agreement for the district council to clean the gullies and monitor them going forward. Read the full story here.

Burton mum stuck in traffic every day

Burton and South Derbyshire's angriest people of 2021Olga Glass says potholes are worse in Staffordshire compared to Russia

Burton mum Olga Glass joined motorists in the town in her anger over roadworks making the town centre a “no-go” zone around rush hour.

She was among the drivers sitting in half-hour tailbacks delays on St Peter’s Bridge due to roadworks. The 48-year-old said in August Burton was in a state of “perpetual standstill”, with temporary lights near the Shell garage on the Burton side of the bridge and Cadent gasworks at the Stapenhill end. A water leak in Branston Road added to the problems, bringing the town to a standstill.

Cabinet member for highways and transport at Staffordshire County Council David Williams said at the time more than GBP20 million was being invested in repairing roads. Read the full story here.

Angry snapping turtle on banks of River Trent

Burton and South Derbyshire's angriest people of 2021

It was not just humans put in a foul mood by some of the events of 2021, with a violent North American snapping turtle roaming the banks of the River Trent in Burton in October. The huge reptile, which measure 51cm by 37cm and weighs 4kg, jumped out on a man who was walking with his children.

The dad realised it would be a danger to others when he saw its ferocious bite, and bravely took it home before calling the RSPCA for assistance. RSPCA animal rescue officer Karen Brannan was sent to the man’s house and collected the feisty shelled creature, which she named Hagar after fiesty film character Hagar Shipley – the main pratagonist of The Stone Angel. He has now been found a new home at the National Turtle Sanctuary at the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park.

Karen believes the turtle may have lived in the area feeding on fish for quite some time. Read the full story here.

Generous Burton landlady angry over pensioner’s plight

Burton and South Derbyshire's angriest people of 2021

In November, a Burton pub landlady was so angered by the plight of a disabled man stuck in his own home she offered to pay for a ramp to help him get out and about. Former mechanic Maurice Reed had been waiting two years for South Derbyshire District Council to build a ramp at his Swadlincote home.

Council chiefs said since workman would be sent out to fit a new ramp – but two people have come forward to offer to build the vital fitting that would allow the 84-year-old to get out of his bungalow. One was the stepson of Sam Rice, landlady of the Loaf and Cheese, in Waterloo Street. She said: “When I read the story, I was just fuming.

It’s just completely wrong that this elderly gentleman has been waiting so long. “The cost of building the ramp wouldn’t be that much. I just don’t understand why they haven’t been out and done it.

“I was so angry, I got straight on the phone to my stepson, Kyle, who’s in the construction trade. “Straight away, he said ‘yes – I’ll do it’ and asked for the dimensions he’d need to start work.” Gordon Rhind, chairman of the council’s housing and community services committee, said: “The welfare of our tenants is important to us and I can confirm that our contractors will begin work next week.

“We have contacted Mr Reed’s family to apologise for the delay to the work to improve his accessibility to his home and for the inconvenience that this has caused.” The ramp was later installed by the council. Read the full story here.

Burton residents plagued by bad parking on their street

Burton and South Derbyshire's angriest people of 2021A truck struggling to get down St Matthew’s Street, Burton.

An angry note was pinned to a car parked so badly a supermarket delivery driver could not get down a Burton street.

The offending vehicle was parked in St Matthew’s Street in September and reportedly left an Asda driver having to park up and carry the delivery all the way to their customer’s door. It came after several years of parking problems in the street, which had seen bin collections missed because a lorry could not get through. The note, left by someone living on the street, read: “Please think before leaving your car parked like this down this street.

If an emergency vehicle needed to get through, it couldn’t. Please think of others!!!” Police and county council chiefs said they would be liaising to discuss whether to install double-yellow lines on St Matthew’s Street.

Read the full story here.

DHL workers in Burton

Burton and South Derbyshire's angriest people of 2021DHL Tradeteam, in Eastern Avenue, Stretton Business Park, Burton.

Workers at Burton’s DHL Tradeteam depot were furious in March after being paid just 80 per cent of their February wages – whether they were furloughed or not. Anyone who worked enough hours to earn more than 80 per cent was told they will have to wait until the end of March to get the money they are owed. The drinks distribution giant was using the “flexible furlough” scheme, which allowed employers to call staff into work when there was demand and put them on furlough the rest of the time.

But employees were left fuming by the company’s scheme to pay just 80 per cent of their wages every month, regardless of how many hours they had worked. Any additional wages owed would not be paid until the end of the following month. A spokesman for DHL said at the time: “Due to the pandemic, we’ve implemented the flexible furlough scheme to be able to respond to the inevitable fluctuations in volume as a result of lockdown and we have made every effort to utilise this across the workforce, ensuring a fair and consistent approach.

“Because of the dramatic changes in demand, shift patterns and working days have changed, but hours are reconciled at regular periods throughout the year and, of course, we ensure that we are operating within the Working Time Directive regulations at all times. “In recognition of the challenges over the last 12 months, we have implemented a number of measures to support our entire workforce by ensuring colleagues have access to both financial support services and wellbeing resources.” Read the full story here.

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