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Does Ipswich have a rat problem? Calls made to tackle street vermin amid regular sightings

PUBLISHED: 07:30 09 December 2018

Reports of rats in Ipswich town centre have sprung up, according to the Conservative group File picture: ANDREW MUTIMER

Reports of rats in Ipswich town centre have sprung up, according to the Conservative group File picture: ANDREW MUTIMER

(c) copyright citizenside.com

A string of complaints from homes and businesses in Ipswich has prompted Tories to call for a purge of the town's growing rat problem, it has emerged.

Liz Harsant called for changes to rubbish collection times in Ipswich to help combat the problem: Picture: ARCHANTLiz Harsant called for changes to rubbish collection times in Ipswich to help combat the problem: Picture: ARCHANT

The Conservative group shared a message on social media asking for people to report their sightings of rats in the town, following a number of complaints it had received.

In particular areas such as Arras Square, Tacket Street and Upper Brook Street are among those where the pests have been seen.

The Tories have now called on Ipswich Borough Council’s Labour administration to take immediate action before it impacts on the town’s night time economy.

Conservative councillor for Holywells Liz Harsant, said that waste collection is “what we pay our council tax for” and added: “They need to change how they deal with rubbish at the end of the working day.

“If they are not going to do it it’s disgraceful.

“Why did Suffolk Coastal manage to get rid of its rats from Felixstowe yet we cannot?”

In a letter to the cabinet, Conservative leader Ian Fisher said other towns collected rubbish later into the evening to combat vermin problems and said the borough council had not altered its cleaning regime to tackle it.

He added that it “isn’t a great advert for Ipswich”.

A statement provided to the council’s meeting last month said: “The recent reports received of rat sightings in Tacket Street and Arras Square are not related to street cleanliness in the area.

“It is more likely that these sightings are of rats who are foraging for food in the town, rather than actually nesting where they have been seen.

“Both the waste enforcement team and the food team have been monitoring the area around Tacket Street but haven’t found any issues with waste or bins on Tacket Street that would identify the root cause of the issue.”

A borough council spokesman added: “The council does not have responsibility to deal with rats on individual properties – the responsibility lies with individual land owners.

“We use our enforcement powers to require land owners to address the issue of rats on their land.

“Also our public protection team uses its powers to require business and individuals to dispose of waste appropriately and this reduces food and harbourage for rats.

“While the Council is not currently providing a pay as you go pest control service to residents it continues to ensure it fulfils its responsibilities as a land owner.”

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