ELDERLY and disabled residents at an assisted living housing complex that’s become a ‘complete mess’ have been left to deal with rubbish, weeds and nettles themselves - despite the site generating around £9,000 in fees.

Upkeep at the Yorkshire Housing site on St Hilda’s Close, Thurnscoe, has declined so much that residents are forced to do their own gardening or get outside help - rather than relying on staff who reportedly go weeks without visiting.

When they do arrive, disabled resident Peter Brettell told the Chronicle, they leave nettles and brambles to grow out into driveways and gardens, and fail to take away their rubbish.

He also said he’d almost had his patio doors smashed as a worker attempted to get rid of weeds with a strimmer and sent stones and debris flying.

Peter, who’s been at the site since October with partner and full-time carer Heather, had a motorcycle accident that seriously limits his mobility and can see him wheelchair-bound due to yearly operations.

In Text Promo Image

He said he was told by the site’s head groundsman that visits should take place every fortnight.

“You ask for help and you’re just ignored,” said the 46-year-old.

“A lot of residents here struggle to walk, but have to park their cars miles away because there are nettles everywhere.

“If we reverse into our drive, we can’t even get into the car boot properly because of the nettles.

“We’ve had no phone calls, emails, no correspondence whatsoever from them.

“We pay £6.80 a week - and it’s just gone up - which, if you look at how many residents are here, that’s more than £8,000.

“We all think we should stop paying.”

Upon raising the issue, Peter and residents from the near-30 home complex were encouraged to see workmen arrive at the end of last week.

But they then spent the weekend dealing with the fall-out from a poor job.

“On Friday morning, they spent an hour-and-half going around and hacking at every single bush they could get their hands on.

“They’re supposed to take the green waste away, but they’re not taking anything.

“They had a blower machine and all the dirt from that has gone into people’s gardens who haven’t even had any work done.

“It looks a complete mess.

“And then they spent the next half hour having a chin wag on the corner then disappeared.

“I sent pictures to the groundsman, and he sent them back out - and we found they’d hacked away at our hedge, and killed all the buddlejas and next door’s laurel bush.

“Are they even gardeners if they don’t know what’s a plant and what’s a weed?”

The firm claims its ground maintenance team has visited St Hilda’s Close ten times since April - something which Peter disputes.

“There’s no way they’ve been out twice a month,” he said.

“They don’t even get rid of the stinging nettles.”

A Yorkshire Housing spokesperson said: “We want our customers to be happy with the level of service they receive.

“It’s also important to us that they have great outdoor spaces and gardens to enjoy.

“Our grounds maintenance team have visited St Hilda’s Close today (last Thursday).

“We’ll inspect it again tomorrow to check it meets our standards and any outstanding work will be completed by the end of the week.

“Over the past few months our grounds maintenance team in South Yorkshire has been affected by colleagues having to self-isolate due to Covid-19.

“However, we’ve already put extra resource in place to ensure we can catch up as soon as possible.”