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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Carlisle council apologises for used needles removal delay

A concerned resident has hit out after it took a week to remove used needles from behind his house.

Craig Irving spotted the syringes in the alley behind the shops in Central Avenue, Harraby, last Thursday.

He tried to report it that afternoon, eventually getting a call back from Carlisle City Council’s environmental health team the next day.

“There was a used syringe on one side with the end broken off, then another further over with some sort of fluid still in it and a needle still in it. Beside that there was some sort of spoon so it’s presumably been used for heroin,” he told the News & Star.

“The man I spoke to said they would get someone out to it as a matter of urgency but nobody came. I’ve checked every morning and night.”

The items were finally removed yesterday. Carlisle City Council has since apologised for the delay.

It comes less than two months after residents using a cycleway elsewhere in the city contacted the News & Star with similar problems.

Dog walkers had found used needles on the footpath along the River Caldew, behind the Lidl supermarket. They reported them to the city council immediately, but were appalled to find they were still there 24 hours later.

This time Mr Irving said it has taken a full week.

“As soon as I saw them I rang Riverside, the county and city councils. Eventually they told me to speak to environmental health at Carlisle City Council,” he said.

“That was Thursday. There was nobody there so I left a message. They rang back on Friday at about 10.50am and I told him how dangerous they were left lying there.

“Imagine if some inquisitive kid had spotted them. I’d never forgive myself but it wasn’t safe to move them myself.

“Every day I’ve been checking on my way to and from work. When they were still there on Thursday I though enough is enough.

“It makes you mad, especially when you see all these council adverts about the big clean up in Harraby.”

After being contacted by the News & Star, the syringes were removed yesterday and the city council apologised.

A spokeswoman said: “We would like apologise for the delay in responding to this enquiry. It has now been dealt with. We would like thank Mr Irving for contacting us.”

Mr Irving added that he believes heroin use is becoming more of a problem in his community and fears that if it is not tackled, discarded needles could now become a regular sight in the streets.

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