Posted: 29/07/2014 at 08:16
Hi Ellie and welcome to the forum - you'll receive a lot of much needed support from the friendly crowd here
I can see from your avatar that you really do have a pretty serious problem. I'm no expert but I think you really have to press on the environmental health side with the council. You have seen mice - the council will probably not be interested in mice outside but you need to emphasise that the mice have invaded next door's house & you are seriously concerned that they might make their way into yours. Dont want to worry you - but are you sure there is no rat problem as well - EH more likely to get involved with rats.
You said you have pictures - I would put them into a tidy file & see if you can't get an appointment to see someone in EH & show them how bad things are.
I believe some councils have a small team specifically to deal with neighbour disputes - they might be able to help. Again a phone call to find out if you can make an appt to see one of them and show the pictures.
Citizens Advice might also be able to help.
You have tolerated this for 17 years. You are clearly a nice person who doesn't want to make trouble but things have reached a head. Keep calm, write out a reasoned account of what's happened over the years, back it up with your photos & start showing them to the people who can help you. There is no need to make any threats to anybody - just be quietly persistent & emphasise the EH side of things.
I think that if you can get someone from the council to come & take a look they might help with clearance.
Throughout all this, try to stay on reasonable terms with your neighbours. There might be community based volunteer teams (or people on Community Service sentences) who can come in to help - but only if your neighbours will allow them access to the garden. Do you think they would allow the garden to be cleared if it involved no real input from them?
Good luck with this - keep posting to keep getting support. You've already taken the biggest step in deciding to do something. Just try to keep things calm and respectful for now - I used to work for the council - we hated shouters and screamers & went out of our way to help frightened, bullied, respectful people who had a real problem.