A councillor has said she is “delighted” that a “scruffy” alleyway will finally be tidied up after years of campaigning.
Coun Jill Salt said she had been trying to get someone to take responsibility for the alleyway that runs between Slater Street and Edge View Court, but had been unable to find out who owns the land, (ITALICS writes local democracy reporter Richard Price).
Now Your Housing Group has confirmed it is responsible and will take action to clear up piles of litter and dog mess as well as tackling weeds and overgrown hedges.
Coun Salt said it had been difficult to establish who should tackle the problem as various plots of common land were divided up between Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and Your Housing Group when some of the estates in Biddulph were built.
The issue has now been settled, with Your Housing Group confirming they will take on the task of clearing the alleyway.
Coun Salt said: “Residents have said for years that the alleyway between Slater Street and Edge View Court was a disgusting state – lots of dog mess, lots of overgrown hedges, the tarmac coming up, potholes – and it’s just not been maintained.
“Finally, after three and a half years of trying, Your Housing has admitted they own it and they’re going to try and sort it out and maintain it.
“It’ll mean a safer route to school, and a more pleasant route to school, because you can’t get a buggy past with all the bushes and nettles and everything growing out.”
She added: “It’ll be brighter because they can sort out the streetlights and things, so it’ll be a more pleasant environment for residents.”
Rebecca Blackhurst, (35), uses the alleyway when she walks her dog, and said the cut-through was a hotspot for drugs and broken bottles.
She said: “There’s always glass. I see people down here sometimes doing drugs, weed, stuff like that. You can smell it.” “At night it’s lit, I do feel safe walking down it, but it’s dirty and horrible. It’s a bit grim. It’s not the nicest place.”
She also said dog fouling was an issue along the alleyway, and across the town as a whole, but blamed a lack of bins for the problem.
She said: “The dog mess is a thing across Biddulph. There’s not enough bins. As a dog walker, I feel there’s not enough bins.”
Another local – who didn’t want to be named – said they’d seen people throwing whole bags of rubbish over a fence that separates the alley from residents’ gardens.
They said: “People just keep bringing rubbish down and chucking it into the gardens.
“I never go up there, but I know what it’s like because the other side of my fence is chock-a-block with rubbish. There’s rats and everything.
“People bring bags of rubbish, kitchen sinks – there’s everything chucked over there! It took us years to get them to put a fence up.
“Kids get hold of beer from the shops – so then they drink it all and chuck the cans across.”
Speaking at a recent meeting with local councillors, Your Housing Group’s regional housing manager Dave Lovatt confirmed the company would make sure the path was cleared up.
He said: “Slater Street and Edge View Court alleyway is the responsibility of Your Housing Group. I will ensure it gets dealt with, and I will ensure all the hedges are cut back.”