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A Worcester suburb has been turned into a “rat’s paradise” by flytippers who have left its streets piled high with rubbish, broken furniture and even rotting meat.
Residents of Tolladine, Worcester, which was recently described as “one of Britain’s grimmest suburbs” say a surge in the number of shared houses and flats [HMOs] is behind the problem.
Residents say they are also plagued by violence and anti-social behaviour, making many elderly and vulnerable people too scared to leave their homes.
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Edward Kimberley, who stood as a Labour candidate in the ward in May 2022, said: "Avon and Teme Roads were council estates built with small, family-sized houses designed to accommodate a specific number of people".
"Now these are being turned into HMOs," Mr Kimberley added, "far more people are being crammed in, and public services (such as waste collection and on-street parking) have failed to keep pace.
“Many tenants in this area are effectively locked out of whatever help the council could provide them, because they don't speak fluent English, leaving them depending on their landlords for everything.
“We need to do a much better job of reaching out to them, and letting them know help is available.
"This part of Tolladine is generally dilapidated and features neglect of all kinds. Rubbish in the street, discarded offal and fly-tipping is normal here.”
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One local said: “This place should be condemned. It’s an absolute disgrace. The only things thriving are the vermin. It’s a rat’s paradise.
“People have given up all hope and respect for the area. I know of older people who are too frightened and depressed to leave their homes.”
Another said: "It's horrible walking around here and some of the people dumping stuff are really menacing.
Life in UK red light zone where people bonk in gardens and rats do back flips
"It's not just people throwing rubbish away, criminals are starting to use the area to fly-tip stuff. The area is turning into a giant rubbish dump.
"You see gangs of kids spitting and smashing windows in empty buildings. People have been beaten up in the street for no reason, it's grim."
On Avon Road, one garden is crammed with filthy mattresses, broken fridges, an old toilet and smashed bed frames.
The rubbish covers every inch of grass and spills onto the pavement, forcing residents to step into the road to avoid it.
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Mohammed Altaf, a Conservative city ward councillor for the area, owns several properties in the area.
He said sometimes tenants moved out and left rubbish, including furniture behind.
He said: "If I need to spend any money I will spend money out of my own pocket. It was me that brought back the Saturday Skips because they had been taken away.”
Cllr Altaf suggested more should be done to help the area's multi-cultural population access council services.
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He said: "It needs to be explained the green bin is for recycling and the black bin isn't.”
A spokesperson for Worcester City Council said: “We would like to thank the resident who alerted us to the sofa and other rubbish dumped in Avon Road. We are making arrangements for this to be removed"
They added that residents should report any new cases of fly-tipping to their website.
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