Lots of people get clobbered by their councils in different ways, but this takes the biscuit.

You will have read here in the past of the many times that East Riding of Yorkshire Council has picked on Alvin Wilkinson for putting displays outside his store, Countdown in Hornsea. First it was fruit and veg displays, now it’s his flower display.

The director of environment and neighbourhood services missed Alvin on his first visit re the flowers (see last issue), but came back the following week and spent about an hour outside telling Alvin that the display - sticking out less than 18 inches - was interfering with the safe and convenient passage of pedestrians along the footpath.

He followed it up with another letter pointing out Alvin himself had been an obstruction for standing in the street for an hour!

I wondered whether he was making some humorous point, but Alvin is convinced not. Mostly he was incensed because he hadn’t asked the bureaucrat to come and help clog up the doorway in the first place. Alvin also asked why none of the other nearby premises were told to remove their outdoor displays and the director said they were being told. But Alvin went canvassing and none had received visits or letters from the council.

I suggested Alvin puts the letter in the window and draws a few red arrows around it to bring it to the attention of passers by. It will mean that people stop to read it, thereby becoming an obstruction.

On a serious note, though, this adds up to harassment. Might be worth a no-win, no-fee lawyered-up approach.