‘There’s mice in my flat’: Anger as rubbish bags are left on Portsmouth block’s fire escape for five months

Alan Poolman. Picture: Sarah Standing
Alan Poolman. Picture: Sarah Standing
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PEOPLE living in a block of flats have spoken of their frustration after rubbish bags have been left on a fire escape for almost five months.

Linda Poolman, 49, from Fratton, has been battling over the rubbish to be dealt with since May.

Cleaner Lindam who lives in Outlook on Goldsmith Avenue, first complained about rubbish being left by neighbours on the fire escape on May 8 - but nothing has been done.

Outlook was previously hit by an arson attack in March and Linda fears that if another fire broke out she and her husband Alan, 64, who also has arthritis, may not be able to escape.

She said: ‘It’s not me I’m worried about. My husband has a pacemaker and he could slip. If it goes off he could die.’

Linda says she has spoken to Portsmouth City Council about the issue. 

A spokesman said: ‘This is a private block, not run by the council. Our private sector housing team have investigated two recent complaints, which we raised with Vivid, who run the building.’

But Outlook landlords Vivid said the responsibility for the area is with someone else.

Derek Streek, head of neighbourhoods at Vivid, said: ‘Maintaining this passage is the responsibility of the owner of the adjoining block, although our customers do have right of access.

‘Our neighbourhood officer has been in regular communication for the past three months with both our customer, and the managing agent responsible for the adjoining block, to resolve this issue.

‘The passage is currently clear and we’re seeking reassurance from the managing agent to ensure it won’t happen again.’

Linda said the rubbish has appeared after neighbours left it on the fire escape instead of taking it to the bin store.

Before the rubbish was removed, she said: ‘Every night now there’s mice coming in and out of the bags. They’re coming into my flat now.’

Linda said she feels unsupported after complaining for so long with no change to the situation, saying nothing was done quickly.

As reported, police made an arrest following the fire earlier this year.

Six fire engines spent nearly two hours at the scene after the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service was alerted at 1.30am on March 1.