FLY-TIPPING on a Hounslow estate has rocketed since the full-time caretaker was scrapped, it has been claimed.

Hounslow Homes, the housing arm of the council, altered its care-taking services nearly two years ago to reduce costs.

General care-taking duties and cleaning are now carried out by different staff rather than by full-time care-takers on estates across the borough. Hounslow Homes claims there has been no overall reduction in staff numbers and says the change was managed to ensure 'as little impact as possible on the quality of services delivered'.

However, according to one resident, the loss of the full-time care-taker on Hounslow's Tivoli estate has led to rubbish piling up on the streets.

Karen Veness, of Tivoli Road, near Hounslow Heath, told the Chronicle she is fed up of her estate being used as a dumping ground for everything from building rubble and fridges to a double bed.

The 45-year-old mum-of-two claims the problems only started after they lost their full-time caretaker.

"Everything used to be cleared immediately and the estate was beautiful until our dedicated caretaker disappeared about a year ago," said the pensions administrator. No one who comes to clean the estate now and we've seen rats running around in the rubbish and foxes coming into our gardens, which never used to happen."

Mrs Veness, who has lived on the estate for 17 years, added that it was dirtier than she had ever known it and called for more to be done to crack down on fly-tippers.

A spokeswoman for Hounslow Homes said: "In April 2008 Hounslow Homes restructured its caretaking service in order to achieve savings following a reduction in the level of housing subsidy. As a priority, we ensured that any changes had as little impact as possible on the quality of services delivered to our residents."

What do you think? Has your estate been affected by the changes? Let us know.