Businesses at the bottom of Barnstaple High Street are fed up with overflowing bins and stinking piles of rubbish being left to rot.

Traders say overflowing bins left at Mermaid Walk in Barnstaple have not been emptied for 10 days. Picture: David ThompsonTraders say overflowing bins left at Mermaid Walk in Barnstaple have not been emptied for 10 days. Picture: David Thompson

Traders at Mermaid Walk have been calling for some time for North Devon Council to do something about the situation outside their premises which sees communal bins left brimming and bags of rubbish strewn over the pavement.

David Thompson, the owner of Cool Calm Collected said when the road was resurfaced some bins were taken away and never returned - he said NDC had not resolved matters.

Mr Thompson said rubbish is left by the bins from people in nearby flats who do not have wheelie bins, as well as by people using the High Street.

He told the Gazette on Friday, August 30 that the rubbish had not been collected for 10 days.

He said: "The council is not taking any notice at all. The bins are all over the place and it's absolutely stinking, it's beginning to let Barnstaple down."

Referring to recent Government funding for high streets, he added: "Barnstaple and Bideford have been awarded money to make the town better and they can't even collect the rubbish."

Mr Thompson said he had called the council on numerous occasions but the situation had not improved.

He said: "They said they would empty them more often until they get it resolved, but they don't."

He said there had been problems with seagulls and rats attracted by the rubbish.

But Ricky McCormack, head of operational services at NDC, said the council was aware of the issues.

He said: "This is not something we want to see happening in Barnstaple, so I would like to reassure residents that our environmental warden is currently investigating the problem.

"Part of the problem is that the public litter bins there were damaged by contractors working for Devon County Council and had to be removed, so people have been leaving their rubbish in the wheelie bins instead.

"We plan to install two new litter bins there next week.

"We will also shortly be removing all the wheelie bins from their current location.

"After the bins have been taken away, residents can contact us to discuss their continued waste collection service by telephoning our customer services team on 01271 374776."