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'Fobbed off': Villagers plagued by fly infestation for a decade hit out at council

PUBLISHED: 13:56 27 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:56 27 June 2019

Flies caught in a trap in a kitchen in Thorpe Marriott. Picture: Laura Geller

Flies caught in a trap in a kitchen in Thorpe Marriott. Picture: Laura Geller

Archant

Villagers who have been plagued by a fly infestation for a decade have expressed their anger over the council's response on the issue.

A child's toy car peppered with flies in Thorpe Marriott. Picture: AnonymousA child's toy car peppered with flies in Thorpe Marriott. Picture: Anonymous

Broadland District Council said it was taking steps to resolve the problem in Thorpe Marriott and was regularly visiting the local farm where the flies were believed to be coming from.

Families in the village have made complaints to the council about the swarm of flies since 2009 and recently reported the issue in March this year.

People from the area have said the fly infestation is so bad that they spend a considerable amount of money on fly screens and for cleaning services to scoop fly mess of their roofs.

A 58-year-old woman in the area, who wished to remain anonymous, has been in regular contact with the council's environmental team and believed not enough was being done to tackle the issue.

She said she felt villagers were being "fobbed off" by the council, adding: "I have lived here for 14 years, I have been on their backs about this, I have lived with it for so long."

In an email to an environmental health officer, she asked where the flies were coming from and described how desperate the situation was.

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"Our food table was swarming with them. The linen line was full of them and the alleyway and front door swarming with them. It's disgusting," she said.

The officer told her there was no evidence the flies were breeding at the farm but that the bugs were being attracted in.

He said: "The fly control on the farm is extremely effective. I can see no sign of fly larvae in the manure under the currently used shed."

He said that a fly expert visited the farm, adding: "And between us we looked for fly larvae and eggs in manure samples. Some were found, which is not surprising, but far fewer than might be expected for the number of flies experienced at Thorpe Marriott.

"Some advice was given regarding fly treatment in the chicken shed and that advice will be followed."

Broadland has not named the farm but said a specialist had been brought in to offer expert advice.

But residents feel this could mean enduring six more weeks - the life span of a hatched lesser house fly - of the problem, with the 58-year-old villager stating: "That's the whole of our summer gone again where we can't have our windows or doors open."

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