Residents’ anger at hoarder

Rubbish piled in a parked car on the drive
Rubbish piled in a parked car on the drive

ANGRY residents have made a fresh appeal for action after hopes of clearing a hoarder’s eyesore home came to nought.

Those living near an overstuffed semi in Atherton Road, Hindley are now beginning to wonder whether their calls for help will ever be answered.

They initially signed a petition to get the authorities to clear the house, belonging to Philip Barker. It has been visibly piled high with junk for years and the residents claimed it was a health hazard ruining their lives.

Last year, the council arranged for five skips of rubbish to be removed from the house. But instead of heralding a new era, all the rubbish has now been replaced in both the house and the car parked outside.

Neighbours are now demande for further steps to be taken and want to know what legislation regarding a person’s private property can be invoked to tackle a mess that is blighting their own properties.

Resident Roy Blyth said: “The council came and took four large walk-in skips and one standard size skip away but we haven’t heard anything since. He’s clean but the house is horrendous. We don’t think anything will ever be done.”

Mike and Barbara Dempsey who live next door said they frequently witness Philip’s pet cats chase after mice and rats. Mike said: “We phoned enviromental health in January and they said they would come with a skip in a couple of weeks. We haven’t seen a thing being done! He said he only throws his cat litter and old cat food out. But we only see him do that every few months.”

Neigbours on the other side of the property are said to have been troubled by the house for many years.

Roy said: “Norman and Jean have both passed away now and their niece is sorting out their estate but if it was to sell she would lose at least £20,000.

A Wigan Council spokesman said: “We’re grateful for the residents bringing the situation to light and we will be working with Mr Barker to get the issue sorted. Under legislation, there is a limit as to what the council can do with private property which has no direct health hazard. We have arranged an inspector from Enviromental Health to go out and discuss the current situation.

“Residents will be informed with what we can do under our powers and hope they understand.”

Mr Barker declined to comment.