Moves to clear rubbish at derelict Willenhall garages after claims rats were seen

A row of derelict garages targeted by fly-tippers are to be emptied of rubbish after residents claimed rats were seen on the land.

Carol Faulkner shows the bins at derelict garages in New Invention Square, Lichfield Road, Willenhall
Carol Faulkner shows the bins at derelict garages in New Invention Square, Lichfield Road, Willenhall

Social landlord Walsall Housing Group(WHG) is responsible for the vacant parking area off The Square, New Invention, in Willenhall, which has been fenced off and padlocked. It said staff had been clearing up and that the enforcement action had been taken against those caught illegally dumping waste.

Following complaints by residents and a councillor efforts are now due to be made to remove the remaining rubbish in the garages.

New Invention resident Carol Faulkner said: "I live nearby and we have actually seen rats coming out of the garages. I've got grandchildren and other families live here. It's just not hygienic.

Carol Faulkner shows the bins at derelict garages in New Invention Square, Lichfield Road, Willenhall

"It needs to be cleared. We have seen people throwing black bags over the fence instead of dropping them into the bins. When the council binmen come to empty these bins they don't pick up the rubbish or black bags on the ground as they tell us it's not part of their duties."

Willenhall North ward representative Councillor Stacie Elson said: "I'm aware that there's been an issue with the garages. I can understand that issues with rubbish not been cleared getting on residents' nerves especially when groups such as Willenhall Wombles go litter picking on the streets in their spare time.

"I have spoken to WHG's area housing manager and he assured me that tenants needing to access bins to the rear of the shops will be given keys.

"I was invited on a site visit at short notice which I was unable to attend, however, my understanding is that WHG is going to visit the residents in the flats above the shops as part of efforts to advise them to use the bins."

However, WHG housing director Gary Brookes said: “This area has been targeted by fly-tippers, whose dumping of rubbish ruins the estate for all our customers.

"Our neighbourhoods team has been visiting the area weekly to clear up and investigate any fly-tipping and have successfully identified and taken action against those responsible. We will also be clearing out the vacant garages in the near future.

"Fly-tipping is illegal and unacceptable and we will continue to work with local residents and partner agencies to reduce this activity.

“Our customers have always had access to a bin store to dispose of their waste appropriately.”

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