Bags of festering rubbish in a central Swindon alley show the need for a relaxation of the rules, says one desperate family.

Craig Waters lives with his partner Charlotte and two young children in Cambria Bridge Road.

With their youngest, aged two, still in nappies, the couple say they have always struggled to get Swindon Borough Council crews to pick up their rubbish when they run out of the officially-issued blue bags.

Mr Waters, 29, said: “We don’t have space for a wheelie bin, so we get issued 26 Swindon Borough Council blue bags a year. But that’s not enough if you have a child in nappies. Those bags fill up quickly.

"Previously we’ve been able to buy extra ones, but obviously we can’t do that now. We’ve been asking for more for the last six months and nobody from the council has responded to email or calls.

“We have tried getting our own. We went online and made sure to try and get ones the same colour as the council ones – but we were told they wouldn’t be collected. We went online to the council and they said they wouldn’t be collected – we spoke to the bin men directly and they said they wouldn’t be taken.”

The family of four has been advised to self-isolate for two weeks because of fears of being infected with Covid-19 – and Mr Waters said things are getting desperate.

“We’ve been out of council-issued bags since before all this started and it’s been months," he said. "I’ve had to bring some of the bags back onto our property, and that just seems the worst thing to have to do, especially now.”

Mr Waters shared photos of his family’s waste in blue bags at the back of his house, and also of a pile of bags from other households in the area – all uncollected.

He said: “At this time, I think the council needs to relax it’s rules and just collect the waste, whether it’s in an official blue bag or not. I’ve lived in Reading and my partner’s from London and we’ve never experienced other local councils being so strict and rigid about this.”

The borough council said it has made extra bags available to Mr Waters and his family.

A spokesman said: “We have carried out an assessment at this property for extra blue bags and it was deemed that the three rolls of bags dropped off at each delivery is sufficient.

“While clearing the rubbish from Cambria Bridge this week, our crews posted one roll of blue bags through the resident’s door. Another delivery of blue bags at this property should be made by the end of next week.

“It’s worth noting that, in order to manage the borough’s waste properly, our crews only collect council-branded blue bags rather than ones bought by residents.”