Homeowners "put off" moving into Wigan estate because of litter and vermin

Potential homeowners are being put off moving into a Wigan estate because it is blighted by litter and vermin, a resident has claimed.

Friday, 20th September 2019, 8:32 am
Updated Friday, 20th September 2019, 9:32 am
Jim Gaskell, a foster carer who lives on Prestt Grove

Jim Gaskell says the ongoing issue of fly-tipping, litter and the rodents it attracts are putting a spanner in the works of the council’s plans to regenerate the Worsley Mesnes estate.

Mr Gaskell, a 71-year-old foster carer, has lived in Prestt Grove for 45 years.

He said that over the past few years, it has become far too common to find rotting food waste, dirty nappies and broken glass left in the street by neighbours - an issue that he has fought to resolve by contacting his MP Yvonne Fovargue and Wigan Council.

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Jim Gaskell, a foster carer who lives on Prestt Grove

“This has been going on for more than two and a half years,” said Mr Gaskell.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous, it’s disgusting. I’ve seen dead rats everywhere, and over the last 12 months I must have killed about 10 rats in my own garden. It just shouldn’t be happening.”

He added: “My kids, who are eight and 13, are frightened to playing out in the garden because they’ve seen rats.

“Prestt Grove is a disgrace. There’s food waste lying about, dirty nappies, dead rats, dead birds, smashed bottles in the alleyways.

“People don’t want to come and live here. When they keep going on about the regeneration of Worsley Mesnes, it’s a joke.”

Masterplans were announced in 2018 for Worsley Mesnes, detailing proposals to revamp five key sites including the former Hindley House, the old Huxley Close flats, The Wheel pub and Victoria Labour Club sites and open land at Eliot Drive.

At the time, Mr Gaskell said: “How do you expect anyone to want to buy houses on Worsley Mesnes if the environment is like it is? I’m fed up of reporting fly-tipping, close to where I live.”

He has also raised concerns about inconsiderate parking outside St James’ Primary and has called for damaged paving to be tackled, if the estate is to be revived.

Paul Barton, director of environment, said: “Each time we receive a report of fly tipping we remove the waste and investigate the incident to gather evidence which may lead to a prosecution.

“Fly tipping is an illegal act, it blights our environment, and we rely on the intelligence and cooperation of local people to support us with this.

“We have already removed various reports of fly tipping from this area and are currently looking at what else can be done to tackle this issue in the long-term.” Fly-tipping can be reported to the council at wigan.gov.uk