Published: 00:01, 13 July 2014
Rats, syringes and animal faeces have made life in a Whitstable cul-de-sac a nightmare, say residents demanding action to clean up their street.
Neighbours in St Andrew’s Close say their lives have been blighted for years by overflowing bins and fly-tipping, with fridges, TVs and mattresses regularly being dumped on their doorsteps.
As a result sightings of children playing with dead rats, used syringes and nappies, and cat and fox faeces are occurring on a weekly basis.
Now they have called on council bosses to help tackle the problem by cracking down on litter louts and focusing more efforts on sprucing up the estate.
Mum of four Kelly Rutherford, 37, said she didn’t invite relatives or her children’s friends to her home to avoid them seeing rubbish strewn outside.
Kelly said: “It’s almost like we are not on the map as if we are not even part of Whitstable.
“From speaking to residents who lived here years ago, the area was known as Corn-beef Island because it was for low-income families.
“We have just got over the anti-social behaviour, and the estate has worked hard to clear itself up.
“We have a kids club, and the neighbours are getting to know each other more. It is just the rubbish which is holding us back.
“If it was, then I would have people visit me. I don’t want to invite my kids’ friends here or family because I don’t want them to see the mess.”
Complaints about the state of the area stretch back to April 2007, when one resident wrote to MP Julian Brazier asking for his help.
Ms Rutherford said she reported incidents via the Mycouncil app, which is designed to feed information to local authorities.
But despite her making 40 submissions between April 2011 and July 2013 the council claimed they didn’t receive any; it even contacted the app’s creators to look into the issue.
Kelly said binmen were unable to take rubbish dispersed by the bins because the waste was contaminated.
As a consequence it could be left for weeks before it was cleared.
She added: “I think more effort needs to be made. Even putting up a sign warning flytippers they will be fined and bigger bins would be nice.
“The people who live here do care; we just want to see change.”
Council spokesman Rob Davies said a close eye would be kept on St Andrew’s Close.
He said: “St Andrew’s Close receives weekly collections of both landfill and recycling in order to try and keep problems with rubbish to a minimum.
“We are aware there have been issues recently with contamination and getting access to some of the bin areas.
“We will be sending Serco along to clear the area, and will be monitoring the situation over the next few weeks to make sure it improves.”