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Villagers call for renewed pest control

PUBLISHED: 09:45 29 February 2008 | UPDATED: 14:02 21 May 2010

VILLAGERS in Redisham have renewed their call for free pest control after the council decided to stop dealing with rats.

Waveney MP Bob Blizzard met villagers and councillors in the village to discuss the rat problem and Waveney District Council's proposal to start charging £41 for its rat-catching service through a private contractor.

VILLAGERS in Redisham have renewed their call for free pest control after the council decided to stop dealing with rats.

Waveney MP Bob Blizzard met villagers and councillors in the village to discuss the rat problem and Waveney District Council's proposal to start charging £41 for its rat-catching service through a private contractor.

Mr Blizzard was joined by David Ritchie, district councillor for the Saints, and Ken Sale, the council's officer for the built environment, in Redisham on Friday to hear the concerns of local people.

Mr Blizzard said: “This is a big problem, not just in Redisham. People have been told that if they can't afford the £41 then they can buy some rat poison themselves but that will only be a short term answer, some people have to call the rat catcher out almost weekly.

“Once people have to start paying for the service there will also be arguments over whose land the rats are living on. I hope that even at this late stage the council might reconsider the charges. They have said they want to save £60,000, which would only be about £1 for every household in Waveney. I'm sure most people would be happy to pay that for the reassurance of having a free pest control service should they need it.”

However Mr Ritchie said that saving £60,000 needs to be the council's priority. He added: “When other councils have started charging for pest control, there has not been any evidence of an increase in the rat population or in public health issues. The issue will come back before the scrutiny committee in a year's time.”

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