Grimebusters and houses of horrors

August 21st, 2008 - 2:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Leicester, Aug 21 (IANS) An Indian-born housing officer of the Leicester city council is the star of the latest ITV documentary series beginning Thursday to draw attention to a growing problem of the bad conditions in which tenants vacate their dwellings.The series is titled Grimebusters. The first episode shows housing officer Ajay Pandya and his team cleaning a filthy bed-sit in the Highfields area which was filled to the rafters with rubbish, used needles, urine and human excrement. Pandya and his team spent two weeks clearing the property to make it habitable for the next tenant.

Ajay, from Wigston, said: “It was in a very bad state. The person who was living there had put urine in bottles and left them there, and we found human faeces in carrier bags.

“It was full of pizza boxes and ready-meal cartons, and we found more than 100 syringes and needles.”

Ajay, who has been doing the job for four years, said this was one of the worst cases he had seen.

“They’re not always such severe cases,” he said. “When you get a person who’s abandoned the property or has been evicted, they can sometimes smash the place up.

“There are cases where if somebody has died and they have no next of kin, there’s nobody to remove all the furniture from the property, and if they’ve lived there for a long time, you can imagine all the clutter. Some properties are horrible and smelly. But every day is different.”

Councillor Robert Wann said: “I am delighted that officers have been involved in the filming of Grimebusters. It will give residents a real insight into the type of work the council undertakes on a regular basis. The staff featured in the programme really are the unsung heroes of the council.”

The camera crew also filmed staff clearing alleyways, working with residents to stop the illegal dumping of waste, dealing with a mouse infestation in a restaurant and arranging a welfare funeral. Leicester City Council is one of several local authorities that will feature in the series.

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