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Anger as Swindon residents have to take away rubbish themselves
MORE than 150 rubbish bags had to be cleared away by residents after council workers failed to collect their refuse before the bank holiday weekend.
On Friday afternoon concerned residents in Prospect Hill, Old Town, called Swindon Council to find out why their rubbish had not been taken away.
They soon realised their bags were not going to be picked up until today due to the Bank Holiday weekend.
So to avoid wild animals ripping the bags apart residents rallied together to dispose of their own refuse.
“It’s unacceptable,” said Peter Green of Prospect Hill.
“There were already maggots in some of the bags. We didn’t want them sitting out there for four days in the heat.
“I think it’s appalling that no one was around to help. It’s just not acceptable.”
Residents, wearing blue plastic gloves, spent three hours on Saturday morning moving the bags to Cheney Manor.
They also organised a stop outside the council’s Civic Offices along the way.
“There is a wonderful community spirit on Prospect Hill,” said Mr Green.
“Everybody who came past asked us what we were doing and they all joined in to help.”
A van was hired by Emma Bushell and Chris Watts, Labour candidates for the Eastcott Ward, to transport the rubbish.
“We were called by concerned local residents,” said Mrs Bushell.
“We were able to hire a van pretty last minute and take some direct action. As a resident you expect basic services like rubbish collections.
“It’s unacceptable that these residents were not getting that.”
Councillor Richard Hurley, cabinet member for public protection, housing and streetsmart delivery, said he was notified about the issue on Saturday morning.
“Council officers are looking into the matter,” said Coun Hurley who added that it was hard to comment without knowing all the details which he plans to find out today.
A public meeting to discuss the refuse issues in Prospect Hill is set to take place on Wednesday at 7pm in The Castle pub.
The meeting follows a number of complaints made by residents to the council after the authority sent out letters warning them that they could be fined if they do not present their rubbish for collection properly.
Mary Walker, who was sent one of the letters, condemned the council’s action as ‘too aggressive’.
It is hoped that a solution to the problem can be agreed between residents and the council at the meeting this week.
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