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Rats are now a problem

By Shepton Mallet Journal  |  Posted: April 12, 2012

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Letter to Stuart Brown, chief executive of Mendip District Council.

I am writing to you, with copies to various agencies, in the strongest terms following an incident that occurred today, March 30, which has left me reeling in disbelief.

I am the mother of two small daughters with a need to open my car doors wide enough to fasten my youngest into a safety seat on the back seat of the car. The doors on one side of my car cannot be opened wide enough as they are too close to the car parked next to mine, so it is necessary for me to use the doors on the driver's side, after backing my car into its space.

However, I live in a small community, on a hill, where small 'wheelie bins' are difficult to manoeuvre. In consequence, we are obliged to use two of the larger wheeled bins that are parked in our community car park and, because this car park is small, the wheeled bins can only be placed in one particular spot which is right next to my parking space.

When your new ruling about once-a-fortnight collection of waste came into force it became apparent that, with 13 houses, these two wheeled bins are not big enough to take a fortnight's waste and, in consequence, a build up of black waste bags began – and continues – to build up each fortnight.

Today, when I took my small daughter to my car, the waste collection people were in the process of emptying the wheeled bins, but instead of either removing them or, as is their normal habit, dumping the excess bags into the bins, the man who had returned the last of the wheeled bins to its position, simply walked away, leaving the bags parked alongside my car, preventing me from opening the door to fasten my daughter into the rear seat.

I called after the man but he ignored me – even when I called again.

He simply walked away leaving the bags alongside my car.

This practice of dumping the extra black bags into the newly emptied bins is bad enough, but to leave them on the ground and ignore my plea for them to be removed so that I could get into my car is beyond understanding.

Are your men instructed to do this?

I cannot belive that your Health and Safety officer and your Environmental department, to both of whom I am copying this letter, could condone this practice, particularly as rats are now becoming a problem.

Must we wait until one of my daughters touches one of these bags and, if it has been contaminated by rat urine, is affected by Weil's disease, before you take notice?

Claire Green

Hollies Close

Shepton Mallet

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