COMMUNITY CASE STUDY
Stan lives with his wife and two children aged 14 and 10, next door to Ella, a divorced woman living with her son aged 11, who has asthma. The parents are all from other countries, but they have been in the UK long enough for all the children to be born in the UK. The terraced properties are owned by a housing association.
Ella complained to the housing association about barbeques held by Stan nearly every week from May to September, which he used to doing in his home country. Stan used wood for his barbeques (traditional in his home country) which caused an extensive amount of smoke which often went across Ella’s garden next door to Stan. He had also placed the barbeque next to the boundary fence with Ella. This caused breathing problems for Ella’s son, to the extent that he stayed with his father every other weekend to avoid the barbeques. This dispute had carried on for a year before the mediator was asked to help. Th dispute had led to strained relations between the two families, with allegations on both sides of unfortunate behaviour by the other side such as taking photos and videos of each other going about their normal daily activities, which caused emotion distress for both parties due to their experience in their home countries of actions by authorities against people felt to be dissidents.
Stan explained that he had changed the wood used in the barbeques for charcoal some months ago and had moved the barbeque as far from the fence with Ella as far as he could, given the relatively small garden space.
Ella agreed admitted that Stan had moved the barbeque and had changed to using charcoal, but she also wanted to be advised by Stan 24 hours before he wanted to have a barbeque.
Stan refused to give 24 hours’ notice, and the mediator felt this too much to ask, so no formal agreement could be reached, but both sides thanked the mediator for his help, and both said that they now fully appreciated the need to and the benefits of talking to each other whenever possible to resolve differences.
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Remote and face to face meetings available for all mediations
It is assumed that most mediations will be done remotely online. Face to face mediations can be arranged at the same cost. Travelling distances of 20 miles each way or less will not be charged, but over 20 miles each way will be charged at £60 per hour or part therof.