Michael Flash Meakin, scrap metal collector, Wulvern housing row

Thousands of people have signed a petition supporting Nantwich scrap metal collector, Michael “Flash” Meakin.

The petition was launched after Wulvern Housing posted signs outside his property on Gerard Drive warning about fly-tipping and threatening to prosecute.

Flash, aged 73, has been recycling scrap metal around Nantwich for more than 50 years, and has become well known in the town.

But now signs say CCTV has been installed and a metal bollard has been erected to block access to his garage.

Almost 3,000 angry Nantwich residents have signed the petition in just 48 hours, objecting to Wulvern’s actions and demanding Flash be left alone.

Kath Tyror, who travelled across from Wales to show her support today (August 11), has known Flash since their school days together.

She told Nantwichnews: “He is a Dabber legend, and real Dabbers are absolutely incensed about the way Wulvern are treating him.

“I wanted to travel over to see for myself. I’ll be honest, I thought it may look like an eyesore, but there is no rubbish anywhere and his garden is immaculate.

“His neighbours were there, and they have no problem with him.

“Wulvern have clearly used a sledgehammer to crack a nut – they’ve really gone to extremes.

“This is a 73-year-old man who is trying to make an honest living to top up his pension.

“I can understand Wulvern has to follow up a complaint if they receive one, but to put these notices up outside his house, and to put a bollard up and give every resident a key to it apart from Flash, is disgraceful.

“He rents a garage from Wulvern and pays them rent for it, then they go and do this!”

Petition organiser Gemma Yoxall said: “Flash is doing good for his local area and the environment, many people are angry at the way he is suddenly being treated after 50 years of doing what he does.

“We want Wulvern to re-think the way they are treating this man who is doing a good deed for his local community, the environment and also trying to support himself.

“Putting CCTV outside a drug dealing den would be fair enough, but installing it outside a scrap metal dealer’s house seems intrusive and spiteful to what appears to be a trivial “issue”…that the vast majority of locals have no issue with.”

Hundreds of other supporters have posted comments on social media pages, backing Flash.

Wulvern Housing signs near Michael Meakin's property

Amanda Simpson-Willett added: “He has kept our town more tidy for years. If the council did a good job there would be nothing for Flash to pick up! He’s handy in our town!”

And Les Bibby added: “Instead of picking on Flash, I’m sure they’ve got better things to do.

“He must have been doing this for 40+ years. Maybe everyone should dump a load of scrap in front of their offices, they’d soon change their minds.”

In a statement, Wulvern Housing said the measures they have put in place are to ensure the safety of Mr Meakin and fellow residents.

“Mr Meakin’s front garden has become a dumping ground for waste, with people leaving rubbish at his home daily.

“Working with Mr Meakin, the local police and Cheshire East Environmental Health, we have reinforced that dumping waste on Mr Meakin’s garden is illegal and installed CCTV to catch those responsible.

“The dumping and disposal of this waste is not only illegal, but is putting the health and safety of residents and Mr Meakin himself at serious risk.

“Mr Meakin and local residents appreciate the support we have given in preventing this.”

They say they are working with police, environmental health, Cllr Arthur Moran and Houston & Sons Scrap Metal Merchants to find alternative arrangements for Mr Meakin.

But Cllr Moran told Nantwichnews: “Flash is such a character and well known in the town, but Wulvern are adamant he should not operate from their property.

“There’s been such a strength of feeling within the local community over this, and I am just hoping now that Wulvern can come up with a compromise solution.”

(Pic below: Supporters of Flash gather near his home in protest against Wulvern Housing)

Flash with his supporters in Nantwich

6 Comments

  1. Andrew says:

    Instead of victimising a man who has run an honest business for years,is well liked by everyone, and helps keep the place tidy why dont they do something about the people who are increasingly throwing rubbish out of car windows. Its increased noticably this summer and had already increased noticably over the last 12 months. How are some people happy to live in s ***hole

    • David wells says:

      Quite right, only today walking through town a car driver hurled paper out of his car right in front of me, I tapped on the window and said I just saw you drop that, you could be fined. He rudely told me to push off, not my business, “oh yes it certainly is my business” I said as I picked the paper up and hurled it back into his car, shame it wasn’t a milk shake!!

  2. Lucy mathie-Ingram says:

    Has there been any reported accidents involving items left for flash? This seems like overkill to me. I understand they need to keep people safe but safe from what exactly? If items are being left in his property no one else should be in it to get hurt in the first place. They are blocking him from carrying out his job. How long has he operated from there and suddenly they decide he can’t? They have a contact number and everyone should call them up to lodge official complaints.

  3. David wells says:

    Yes I signed the petition in the newspaper, utter disgrace, I would like to know how much a bollard and CCTV costs are? What a waste of OUR money. You could have refurbished an empty house on that.
    When are these pen pusher going to live in the real world, where people care for each other. What if the poor guy has some condition that means collecting scrap gives him some comfort, leave him alone he is a hero!!

  4. Moogue Butler says:

    A Post that everyone but Flash has a key for!!!!!

    One large steel saw on it’s way!

    Should weigh in nicely for Flash!

  5. sarah jane says:

    Flash is a local legend! If we ever needed any metal or damaged bikes removed he took them for us, as we had no way of getting it to the scrap yard. It cost us nothing! Where as If we called someone out, no doubt we would be charged for the removal!

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