For nearly a quarter of a century, Lourdes Maxwell has celebrated the arrival of summer by putting a paddling pool in the garden.
This year, however, her two grandchildren and the children of her neighbours may have to find another way to cool off in the heat.
Miss Maxwell’s local council has decided that the pool – which is only 2ft deep – needs a lifeguard.
The 47-year-old divorced mother of three has also been told she must have insurance before she can inflate the toy outside her house in Portsmouth.
The health and safety edict came after she wrote to the city council asking for permission to put a bigger pool in the communal garden outside her home.
Not only was she told it was too dangerous, but the council told her to empty the existing pool.
After her MP intervened, the local authority softened its stance, saying Miss Maxwell could have a pool if she paid for insurance and ensured supervisors were on constant watch.
Residents near the communal gardens already have to obey a raft of rules governing their use.
They are even supposed to ask the council for permission before having a barbecue.
Miss Maxwell, who is a full-time carer to her son Aiden, said yesterday: "It is absolutely pathetic.
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