RUBBISH, vandalism and neglect are blighting Eldene says a man who has lived in the area for the past four decades.

Tony Bonner, 77, says the problem has been getting worse over the past 18 months. Hooligans have broken into the balcony of the Grade II-listed Crumpled Horn pub, which shut in April, rubbish is being left and weeds are growing at Eldene Centre.

“The council doesn’t seem to be interested in Eldene and you can see that when you go to the Crumpled Horn,” he said.

“People who go to Eldene Community Centre are moaning about the mess. It’s just one hell of a mess.

“The pub is now a mess. One of the benches has been moved outside.

"There is a lot of rubbish. People come up here in the evening and have a few drinks and just leave it,” said Mr Bonner, who has complained to Nythe, Eldene and Liden Parish Council.

“This area is getting worse. It is not just looked after like the other places. There’s a lot of weed just going up near Eldene centre. My fury is that no one’s doing anything about it and I’m just one man trying to get something done.”

He said Shaftesbury Lake was suffering and several neglected trees had fallen in the lake.

“This used to be a very pleasant place and always cleaned up. People have just ruined it. Somebody needs to come down there because those trees are dangerous. And it is not being dealt with,” said Mr Bonner.

A spokeswoman for the Friends of Shaftesbury Lake believes the council should focus on another issue around the lake.

She said: “There have been a couple of small trees in there a while. The parish council keep chasing, but I think nobody has the money for it. It is not a high enough priority, especially when footpaths are left in a perilous state around the lake.

"If there’s money available, I’d much rather they fixed the damaged footpath and the rotting footbridge at the lake. I have been pushing for that.”

Coun Bazil Solomon who represents Liden, Eldene and Park South has been chasing the council to sort out Shaftesbury lake. “They are continually monitoring it and have cleaning cycles.

"I put forward a motion to NEL parish council to look after the Crumpled Horn until a buyer takes over running it. As it is a private land owned by a brewery, we were out voted,”he said.

“Councillors have chased Swindon Borough Council about spending allocated money to improve the area around the Crumpled Horn and Eldene beach. They showed us the plans for a meadow and vast improvements to the area. We are now awaiting the work to begin.

“I have also chased SBC and the parish council to continue to clean up the area in the meanwhile, as they continuously do the cleaning garden cycle.”

Parish council chairman Kevin Parry said: “The parish council is not responsible for the trees. It is down to the borough council.”

But he added: “We’ve added bins and picnic benches around the lake to improve the area.

“Regarding the Crumpled Horn, it is a private building, so the parish council cannot do anything about it.”

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “We are aware of a number of large trees and branches that have fallen into the lake at Shaftesbury Avenue after a number of storms over the past year and we are looking at ways to remove them.

"Unfortunately this is not a simple operation and will depend on available resources and ground conditions. The lake is a natural environment which is full of aquatic weed and therefore provides a good habitat for biodiversity.”

Crumpled Horn owner Star Pubs & Bars is looking for new landlords to take over.