Cross-party group launched to tackle Welwyn Hatfield's rat problem

PUBLISHED: 11:00 25 December 2017

A dead rat in Hatfield town centre.
Picture: Kieran Thorpe

A dead rat in Hatfield town centre. Picture: Kieran Thorpe

Archant

Welwyn Hatfield's borough councillors have a agreed to set a up a scrutiny group to tackle the area's rat problem.

A Freedom of Information request, submitted by Liberal Democrat councillor Helen Quenet, found there were 443 council-subsidised rodent treatments in Welwyn Hatfield during the year since September 2016.

However, she said the figure understates the problem as many people will have infestations treated privately.

Cllr Quenet said: “I have become very aware of both specific areas which seem to have disproportionate rat activity and individual cases where the presence of rats has caused great distress to residents.

“A scrutiny like this gives all the parties a chance to examine an issue in depth and to research successful initiatives carried out in other areas of the country and indeed world.”

Cllr Quenet said such cross-party cooperation is the most constructive way to tackle all local issues.

A borough council spokeswoman said: “The whole community must work together to reduce rat numbers across the borough; businesses, residents and landowners.

“We will be working with the cross-party group to continue our efforts to tackle the population in public areas and ensure others are aware of their responsibilities.

“We actively promote subsidised pest control service for anyone having an issue with rats on private property and the number of treatments has remained consistent over the past few years.”

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