Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Council Hits Back in Row over Beauty Spot Bins

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Council Hits Back in Row over Beauty Spot Bins

Article excerpt

Byline: Kathryn Riddell Reporter

BINS at a Newcastle beauty spot have been left overflowing again, with claims rats are taking over the park.

Discarded rubbish and bags of dog mess had been left on top of brimming bins in Jesmond Dene.

Dog walker Angela Thompson was passing through the Dene on Tuesday morning when she took photos of the "disgusting" rubbish.

And she claims rats are running around the woodland because of the amount of refuse left out in the open.

But the city council said the bins were emptied the day they were reported to be over-flowing and that they were regularly monitored.

Angela, from High Heaton, said: "Jesmond Dene is somewhere I grew up as a child, a haven for wildlife, trees and flowers.

"The beauty is outstanding, however while walking through with my dog this is the scenes of the bins that met me."

She added the Dene was "overrun by rats" and said: "I feel it's disgusting, this is not what we want to show to all the visitors that come here every day."

Similar complaints were made in the summer of 2016 after rubbish was left scattered around bins in the area.

Steve Gallagher, who is retired and regularly walks through the park, said at the time: "This has been going on for months, especially while the weather has been hot.

"Jesmond is a very beautiful place and it is being consistently let down by the council, if people visit the city and see that mess will they come back? "I speak to local business owners and they say that the rubbish is attracting wasps and rats, it needs sorting."

He added: "I pay a high rate of council tax and I can honestly say I don't know what it is going to fund."

The emptying of bins in public open spaces falls to Newcastle City Council's street cleansing team.

But cuts of more than PS900,000 to the last budget led to 35 full-time equivalent voluntary redundancies and vacancies from street cleansing - where all changes have been made "with no significant issues arising", according to the council. …

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