CITY bosses have reversed their decision to ban doormats from all council-owned properties in Southampton.

Residents living in council homes which are not tower blocks or supported housing schemes are now allowed to have doormats outside their front doors.

It comes as earlier this year Southampton City Council banned the  ‘welcome rugs’ from all its properties after they were considered a fire hazard which could get in the way of emergency services – especially firefighters and could cause injury to both them and evacuating locals if tripped over.

As reported, residents not complying with the policy would face a £25 fine.

Residents branded the decision as “ridiculous” and called on the council to change its policy.

Now, after a consultation with residents, the city council has confirmed to have scrapped its zero-tolerance approach.

In a statement the authority said: “Our earlier zero tolerance approach to obstructions in communal areas reflected Local Government Association and Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service recommendations, and was consistent with other housing providers’ protocols. But following consultation with residents, leaseholders and council staff, we have decided to apply a more managed approach moving forward. While we encourage all tenants to assess the risks before having items in communal areas, only tenants living in tower blocks and supported housing schemes will now be affected by this policy. “

The council said that supported housing is designated for older or potentially vulnerable people.

A spokesperson for the city council added: “Keeping tenants safe is our number one priority.

“As a city, we’ve sadly experienced the tragic effects of fires in tower blocks, and post-Grenfell we’ve welcomed extra regulations and stricter national guidance on fire safety. 

“We have a strong track record of reducing fire risks in council properties.”

Vicky-Lee Egerton, of Leaside Way,  was one of the residents who urged the city council to review its policy.

Now she said the new council’s decision is a win.

She added: “I’m just delighted. We can now wipe our feet before going into our properties.

“It is a win for people but also a win for the council because they are now consulting and taking into consideration their tenants.”

Cllr Dan Fitzhenry, opposition leader, said: “Finally the Labour council allowed our residents to have their doormats back.

“Whilst fire safety is a top priority for us all we are pleased to see that they adopted a common sense approach to this.”