'˜Big tree blocks our TV signal' says disgruntled viewer

A TV viewer has been left looking at a blank screen after facing three years with a poor signal caused a large tree outside his home.

Friday, 10th June 2016, 7:37 am
Updated Monday, 13th June 2016, 12:19 pm
Michael Bewick with his house and the offending tree. Photograph by FRANK REID

Michael Bewick says he faces missing out on the Euros footie tournament as he struggled to get officials to do anything about it.

Mr Bewick, 64, even shelled out for a £135 ‘tree buster’ aerial for his home in Westmorland Rise, Peterlee, to try to solve the problem but to no avail.

Michael Bewick next to his TV. Photograph by FRANK REID

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He says he just wants one branch removing but says calls for help to Durham County Council and landlords East Durham Homes went unanswered.

But after contacting the Mail, the council says it will prune the tree soon.

Mr Bewick said: “I’ve been having this trouble for about three years on and off.

“On Sunday night I couldn’t even get BBC One, it just came up saying ‘no signal’.

Michael Bewick next to his TV. Photograph by FRANK REID

“We had to revert to DVDs. I pay my TV licence but I can’t watch the programmes.

“It’s so frustrating, especially with the Euros football coming.”

He added: “Durham County Council said it’s not their responsibility. East Durham Homes said if they could get permission they would chop something off but they never came back to me. That was about three weeks ago.”

Mr Bewick said the television is the main source of enjoyment for his wife Lilian, 62, who is registered disabled.

“My wife is going into hospital in early July for an operation on her kidneys and is going to be two months rehabilitating afterwards at home in bed,” said Mr Bewick, who is Lilian’s carer.

He added: “I don’t want the whole tree chopped down, just one big branch that comes 15ft to 20ft out the side.”

Jimmy Bennett, Durham County Council’s clean and green manager, said: “We were contacted by Mr Bewick about the tree and advised him that it is on land owned and maintained by the County Durham Housing Group.

“We were later asked by the housing group to prune the tree on its behalf. We will be doing so as soon as possible.”