Rat concerns raised in Amble following reports of rising population numbers
Calls have been made for a further investigation into rat problems in Amble.
The issue was recently reported to Amble Town Council by concerned residents and it asked Northumberland County Council to investigate.
Vice chairman Helen Lewis said: “We had reports of quite a lot of rats emerging from the industrial estate heading towards the allotments. The concern was the houses and gardens in Lindisfarne Road.
“We pointed out that responsibility for part of the land is Northumberland County Council and part is Advance so the principle pest control officer has been out and had a look.
“He spoke to the site manager on the industrial estate and some of the traders and no-one there has reported an issue.
“He then went and carried out an inspection of the allotment area and found some evidence of rodents under a fence and where there is livestock.”
In a letter to the town council he revealed that, under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949, it would be the responsibility of the town council and the allotments association to ensure the land is kept free from rodents and prevent recurrence.
“I don’t find this reply satisfactory at all,” said Coun Lewis.
“He has inspected the allotments where one would expect there are going to be some rats because there is livestock (poultry) there but the allotment holders are on top of this and regularly set traps.
“He seems to have missed the point that they are not seen going from the allotments to these houses, they are seen coming from the industrial estate. Naturally they will go to the allotments where they think they will find food.
“This massive increase has only started since the ground was disturbed. He carried out the inspection of the allotment area but he doesn’t seem to have inspected the industrial estate or the back of Lindisfarne Road.
“I do think there is a limit to what you can do. It will settle down again and the rat population will go back to the small number it was before but the allotment holders are now reporting upward of 45 caught so we really need to do something about it.
“People regularly walk there and walk their dogs on the section we are talking about.
“I would still welcome more of an investigation into this, even if he wants to have a site visit and we will meet him.”
Members agreed to request a further investigation.