An anti-social behavior warning was issued to a retiree after he set out to restore a derelict Victorian well.
71-year-old Bob Mouland was instructed by Pen Pusher Council Chairs to put his tools down after investing £ 200 of his own money to maintain the Sidney Cooper Weston Well in Folkestone, Kent.
He spent hours repainting the ornate Class II cast iron statue that no longer functions as a fountain due to rust.
But when he was putting the finishing touches on Monday lunchtime, a council official ordered him to stop and two law enforcement officers gave him a warning.
Bob Mouland, 71, received an anti-social behavior warning after making it his mission to paint and preserve the rusted Sidney Cooper Weston Fountain in Folkestone, Kent
Bob spent £ 200 of his own money painting the fountain, which has stopped working due to rust, but was told by a council official to stop on Monday as the statue is a listed building
Outraged, Bob said: & # 39; It's so petty! 71 years without a flaw in my file, now this.
“An anti-social order should improve the lives of the people in the community. But I've already made the lives of the people in the church better.
& # 39; It's absolutely amazing.
"I was just about to finish the day this officer showed up and said, 'Stop painting! "I told him to go because I had work to do.
"Next up there are these two bullies in puncture vests with pepper spray and so on."
In the request he was asked to "no longer commit anti-social behavior", as this "has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of the local people, is persistent or persists by nature and is unreasonable".
The community protection warning falls under the Antisocial Behavior, Crime and Policing Act of 2014, which replaces the infamous ASBO and, if ignored, can lead to a community protection notice.
Council presidents said he was not allowed to work on the drinking fountain as it is listed.
Bob added that the well had been left in "dire condition" and could not "stand by and let it rot" and said that "nothing" had been done as of now.
He said, “I admit it needs to be sandblasted, but I just painted it to make it look better.
I used plum color and an ivory color. The original was plum and bright white, but I thought the off-white would look a little better. & # 39;
Rusted: The pensioner said the well had been left in "dire condition" and could not "stand by and let it rot" and said that "nothing" had been done so far
The retiree redone the Victorian fountain with plum and ivory paint (above). Locals flocked to help Bob paint and even offered to donate money to maintain the statue
Residents gave Bob tea and coffee while he painted the ornate statue. Others offered to pay for the scaffolding so he could reach the top of the well.
One person even offered to pay for a pump to get the water flowing again, the 71-year-old added.
Bob said, “I just hope they make sense and let me finish this.
“If you went to the town hall, you wouldn't find anyone there. But can you come out and do that?
"It's not the city councils – they really gave us a lot of support – it's the pen sliders behind closed doors!"
62-year-old Folkestone councilor Mary Lawes has been friends with Bob for 12 years and is helping him appeal the written warning in hopes that he will be allowed to finish the three lower areas that only require gloss.
Ms. Lawes said, "It's a Grade I listed structure and maybe he should have asked for permission, but the way he's been treated is absolutely disgusting."
She added, “The well has been revitalized by spending a lot less time and spending a lot less money. The council had stalled because of bureaucracy.
& # 39; Bob is a very old fashioned honorable man who will finish everything he says he will do.
"He did an absolutely fabulous job and I hope the Council can see the point and let it finish."
Folkestone Councilor Mary Lawes, 62, is helping Bob appeal the written warning in the hopes that he will be allowed to finish the three lower areas that only require gloss
The fountain, which was built in 1897, was originally on The Leas promenade but was relocated in 1922. Bob fears that the council will move him back to a "monstrosity" settlement by the sea.
The fountain was built in 1897 in memory of Sidney Cooper Weston, a photographer, Christian philanthropist, and advocate of moderation who worked for the city and helped the poor.
It was originally located on The Leas Cliff Boardwalk and served the public with water, but was relocated in 1922 to make way for the iconic War Memorial on Remembrance Hill.
But Bob fears that the council will move the well into a new "monstrosity development" by the sea.
A Folkestone & Hythe District Council spokesman said: “We have become aware that work is being carried out on the listed Sidney Cooper Weston Well, which may be a criminal offense without obtaining appropriate permits.
A law enforcement officer visited the site and asked Mr Mouland to stop – a request that was repeatedly denied.
& # 39; So given the sensitivity of the structure, we had no choice but to issue a community protection warning – no ASBO – so our planning team can conduct further investigation.
& # 39; After evaluating the work done so far, we are satisfied that no significant changes have been made to this listed structure.
& # 39; We are now pleased to be working with Mr Mouland to complete this project and no further action will be taken against him.
"We are always open to working in partnership with residents and local stakeholders to make our district an exceptional place. However, things should always be done right to avoid unfortunate events like this."
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