Families in an area of Cardiff feel they are being forced out of their homes because the once clean streets are now being turned into a “slum” due to increasing piles of rubbish.
Homeowners and landlords with properties covered by landlord insurance are blaming the students in the area for the uncollected heaps of rubbish which are festering on the streets. They are questioning why the local council are not doing more to help solve the problem of the mounting piles of rubbish and said the situation became unbearable last week as a result of the warm weather. Residents reported rats and birds could be seen rummaging through the debris and the smell of the rotting rubbish forced people to stay indoors with their windows shut.
Margaret Harries who has lived on the street for 51 years said: “The street has become a slum. The smell, especially during warm weather, is atrocious. It’s a disgrace, there are bottles and tins of food just dumped on the ground and not even put in bags. I’m waiting for an epidemic to start. We are living in a slum and we are paying for it. We pay our rates, so I can’t see why we need to put up with this. I don’t have anything against students but we’re trying to keep our streets tidy, and I can’t see why the council won’t do anything.”
Everyone affected feels the council must make students aware of their waste responsibilities, not just at the start of each academic year but throughout the year. A spokesman for Cardiff University claimed all students are made aware of their responsibilities to put out rubbish on the correct day and in the right way.
Landlords in one of the West Midlands’ boroughs may find their rental properties becoming more popular, as the local council go to war on ‘Litter Louts’.
Councillors in the borough of Sandwell, which covers the West Bromwich area of Birmingham, have decided to target members of the public who drop litter, in an attempt to improve the quality of life and the look of the local area.
Not so long ago the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ council named Sandwell as one of the worst areas of the country for dirty, litter strewn streets, this is no longer the case. The borough has given street wardens the power to inflict fixed penalty fines on members of the public dropping litter.
The wardens have undertaken their duties with a vengeance, issuing 2,710 fixed Penalty Charge Notices (PCN’s) in the last year. Compare this to a neighbouring borough such as Dudley, which has a similar if not slightly higher population. Dudley council issued just 306 PCN’s in the same period, around 14% of the Sandwell total. Some critics have suggested the wardens are being too strict, however, a spokesman for the council said the wardens always gave offenders the chance to pick the litter up before invoking the PCN.
Local residents support the council in this. Jim Baker, a local tradesman said “I definitely support the initiative. Why should people just throw down their rubbish and expect someone else to pick it up.” Sheila Jones, a local NHS worker said “The streets are much cleaner now; at last we can take a bit of pride in the place where we live. Well done the council.”
Of course an added bonus for landlords could be that the clean up of the borough and the civic pride emanating from it could also contribute to lower crime figures. Which could lead to lower premiums on their landlord insurance policies.