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I live on a trailer park so grim you’d be better off in JAIL – rats rule the streets which are littered and stink of feces

Residents of a gloomy caravan park complain about bad smells and a rat infestation that dominates the streets.

The Denton Caravan Site in Gravesend, Kent is home to eight Roma and Traveller families.

This caravan park in Kent has been overrun by rats, residents complain

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This caravan park in Kent has been overrun by rats, residents complain
Mountains of garbage can be seen on the site

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Mountains of garbage can be seen on the site
The caravan park is in ruins

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The caravan park is in ruins
Managing and maintaining the site is a challenge, says the council

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Managing and maintaining the site is a challenge, says the council

They claim they have been let down by the local council and Royal Mail staff after being accused of “anti-social behaviour” towards staff.

Gravesham Borough Council operates the site, with each plot comprising a prefab home, a shed for bathing facilities and space for storing trailers and caravans.

One resident named Priscilla has lived in Denton for decades and moved there when she was 16.

According to KentOnline, when it was built nearly 50 years ago, the facility was “properly run” and “was like a garden center,” says Priscilla.

But life today is very different from the positive experience the 62-year-old had when she first entered the site.

Bad smells come from residents’ drains through the clogged sewers, piles of rubbish are piling up every few steps and the street is plagued by rats every day.

To make matters worse, the ground is flooded every time it rains because the drains are clogged and are said to be filled with cement.

Priscilla’s husband George suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which makes him at risk of falls.

She is struggling with her own health, including problems with the veins in her legs, for which she wants to have surgery soon.

Commenting on the condition of the construction site, Priscilla told KentOnline: “I’m worried he’ll trip and fall if he goes down here.”

“People come here and see the chaos, our way of life. They think we are dirty people, but we are not, because we are not.

“I’ve given up. It’s terrible. We can’t live like this.”

With increasing health concerns, Priscilla fears she may not be able to use the bathroom in her cabin for much longer and will have to rely on a shower to stay clean.

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The couple have also asked the council to repair the fallen fences and replace the lightbulbs in the street lamps that have been in circulation for years.

Another resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, lives across the street from her daughter and has lived in Denton for over 30 years.

She said: “It’s shit, I’m ashamed when people come here.

“It’s never been this bad. You’re better off in prison.”

In parts of the area there are fallen fences and power lines scattered on the ground or dangling from the walls.

Junk cars and illegally dumped items were left on the side of the road.

She continued: “We live in a country that time has forgotten.

“If you want something done, you have to do it yourself.”

The council says it tried to help the “difficult construction site” and it was “a hostile environment for our own staff, making repairs difficult”.

But the people who live on the site continue to cause trouble while the authorities try to find a solution.

“ZERO MAINTENANCE”

The couple Betsy and Charlie and one of their five daughters, Betsy Jr., saw their cabin burn down 14 months ago and have had no place to swim since then.

Anyone who enters the roofless hut runs the risk of rainwater entering and running over the power lines dangling from the wall.

Betsy, 59, has lived in this place for 40 years and claims that there used to be 24 plots there, but today only a third of that number remains.

One of Denton’s problems is that mental illness among the people living there has skyrocketed.

Betsy Jr. says everyone has lost a family member or friend to suicide.

She said: “There is no maintenance at all – there is no one there and private developers do not come because it is community land.”

In addition to the condition of the site, residents also complained about a lack of services.

In many places there are no trash cans or lids, so foxes are tearing up trash bags all over the country.

They claim that the garbage collectors do not come regularly to collect the garbage.

And they receive no mail because Royal Mail employees do not enter the country to deliver mail and letters addressed to residents.

All residents claim that they have raised the issues with Gravesham Parish Council countless times without finding a solution.

For many Gypsies and Travellers, moving into housing provided by the municipality is not a real option, as these places represent an opportunity for them to hold on to their culture and way of life.

It’s never been this bad – you’re better off in prison.”

Residents of Denton

A Gravesham Borough Council spokesman said: “Managing and maintaining the Denton site is challenging.

“There is a history of anti-social behaviour and property damage here that directly impacts the lives of the people living there.

“It can be a hostile environment for our own employees and outside contractors, making routine maintenance difficult and unnecessarily delaying emergency repairs when they are needed.

“In fact, many authorities only arrive at the scene accompanied by the police because there have been threats of violence and intimidation in the past. This is the only reason why some of the problems raised by the tenants remain unresolved.

“We and our partner agencies have a duty of care to our own staff and will not send them into situations where we believe they may be at risk. We continue to work with tenants to find ways in which we can carry out necessary work on site.

“The activities associated with the site have impacts that extend beyond its boundaries and affect the lives and wellbeing of neighbouring communities. An example of this is the lack of bus services to the area as operators do not want to put their drivers and vehicles at risk.

“Despite all this, we take our responsibilities as landlords seriously and are working with partner agencies, including those who care about the health and wellbeing of local people, to find long-term solutions to the problems we face in Denton.

“However, it cannot be denied that tenants also have to do their part to improve living conditions there.”

A Royal Mail spokesman said: “The safety of our staff is of paramount importance to Royal Mail and suspending deliveries is always a last resort.”

One resident claimed that prison would be better

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One resident claimed that prison would be better
It is also claimed that health problems among residents have increased dramatically

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It is also claimed that health problems among residents have increased dramatically