Squatter hell for Morley street
A COMMUNTY has been left to pick up the pieces after squatters left "hell on earth" at a Morley house.
Mrs Diane Walton said the house on Rein Road was filled by up to 20 squatters over the past 10 months and even though they have since been evicted, the mess they have left behind is horrendous.
She said: "It's a complete state and because it's a private house we have had no help in getting it cleaned up - so we have had to take it on ourselves."
It is unclear who has full responsibility for the house.
Mrs Walton, 65, said she and neighbouring residents have suffered "hell on earth" for almost a year and have tried to get help from Leeds City Council to get the house and garden cleaned up, but says they have been told there is nothing the council can do.
"We were told that because it's a private house then there isn't a lot that can be done by them, but it's a health hazard.
"We've filled 20 bags with rotting food, human excrement and rubbish from the garden. And some of those people who are cleaning it up are in their 80s.
"One man is 85-years-old and he has been out with a walking stick in one hand and a shovel in the other, all because we've been unable to get any kind of help to get it cleaned."
Mrs Walton said they were provided with a skip because it was classed as a community clean-up, but were then told the skip would be taken away the next day.
"It's been horrendous," she said. "For the past 10 months we've had to put up with parties, music, people being sick over the garden fence and fighting.
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"The police have been called out a number of times and have been amazing, but we have been unable to get any help whatsoever from anywhere or anyone with the clear-up. It's ridiculous."
Mrs Walton said they had been asking the community to spare just half an hour of their time to help to clean up the mess.
"It's been left in such a state. Inside has been visited by environmental health, but the outside is just as bad, if not worse, as the inside.
"We need the community to roll up their sleeves and help - after all, we're not getting any help from anywhere else.
"We've been worried that we will get rats and the whole street will become infested. It's near a school and there are children walking past every day."
Mrs Walton said that the squatters were evicted last Sunday and the house has since been boarded up."
"If it hadn't been for the neighbourhood instigating the clean-up, Rein Road would have become overrun with vermin.
"It's been a cock-up from start to finish. There have been people in their 60s and even their 80s, going out and cleaning. It beggars belief.
"The house itself has been trashed from top to bottom. There's excrement on beds and trodden into carpets, the taps and copper piping from the sinks and bath have all gone and there are holes in the dining room walls.
"But my biggest concern has being the well-being of my mother who lives with us. She's 87-years-old and didn't want us to even go into the garden because of all the partying and fighting.
"I would do anything it took to keep mum safe."
A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said that the property was reported to the environmental action team on Friday and they were now looking into what action they could take.
She said they would initially try to contact the owner of the house, or someone acting on their behalf, to work with them to arrange for the rubbish to be cleared.
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