A Blackpool resident says he has invoiced the council for cleaning his own street after dealing with a flytipping issue that is 'beyond a joke'.

Mark Merriman, 43, of Glenwood Street has sent a bill for more than £5,000 to the authority's accounts department after feeling the council hasn't dealt with the chronic litter problem which has reportedly been going on for four years.

The dad-of-two says he's complained to the council 'almost every week' in the time that he's lived on the street and is now pursuing a house move because of it.

He says the alleyway behind his house has now become a hotspot for flytipping because it is the only alley in the area not to have a gate. This also results in rubbish constantly blowing out on the street front, he claims.

In the summer months residents are apparently unable to open their windows due to the smell.

"The flytipping on this street is now beyond a joke. The video I filmed yesterday was actually after bin day, believe it or not," Mark said.

"I clean the street every week because I have two young sons aged four and six who I want to be able to go outside safely.

Mark Merriman, 43, of Glenwood Street has been cleaning up the chronic litter problem in the street for around four years
Mark Merriman, 43, of Glenwood Street has been cleaning up the chronic litter problem in the street for around four years

"It's not just regular rubbish that I've collected either. It's the likes of soiled incontinence pants, sanitary towels and food waste that has been attracting flies and maggots.

"I believe the problem has gone on longer than I've lived here too so I'm working to try and do something for my neighbours before I go.

"There's an elderly lady who uses a mobility scooter a few doors down. She can only leave her property via the back and she has to navigate around the rubbish.

"It's unacceptable. It's only a matter of time before someone has an accident."

Due to difficulties faced through the coronavirus pandemic, Mark fell behind with his council tax has had an arrangement to pay the sum of £20 a week to pay off the debt steadily.

He received a letter from the council this week however to say he owed an outstanding amount of £150.

This was a turning point for Mark which is why he decided to take the action that he did.

He told Lancs Live: "I realised that for the four years I've lived here I've spent at least six hours a week cleaning up the mess on the streets to try and make it habitable for me, my family and my neighbours.

"It's been difficult financially due to Covid-19 but I've made sure that I contributed to my council tax. The way I see it they're in breach by failing to take decisive action over this problem and have created this situation.

"We've been told that the regular binmen can't touch the street rubbish if it's not in bags but when it's reported to the council it's hit and miss whether it's collected or you just get fobbed off.

"Even something as simple as a gate on the alleyway would stop people pulling up and dumping stuff out of their cars but despite every other alleyway on the area having one they won't give us one.

"We've been told CCTV would be too expensive to try and catch the flytippers so what else can we do?"

"It's the council's responsibility to keep alleyways and public highways clear. This is why I've ended up billing them for my services."

LancsLive has approached Blackpool Council for comment.

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