Go ahead is given for pest con­trol cuts

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - DANIELLE ROPER

CHESHIRE East Coun­cil has given the green light to a con­tro­ver­sial pro­posal to re­duce its pest con­trol ser­vices.

Un­der the new sys­tem, ap­proved by the cab­i­net Mem­ber for Com­mu­ni­ties at a meet­ing on Mon­day, all pest con­trol ser­vices apart from ro­dent con­trol will be re­moved.

The £10 charge for the treat­ment of rats in do­mes­tic premises will quadru­ple to £40, with a con­ces­sion­ary charge of £20 for those on in­come re­lated ben­e­fits.

The changes, which will save the coun­cil £60,000, will also re­sult in two of the four pest con­trol roles be­ing axed.

Coun­cil bosses said they would at­tempt to re­de­ploy the staff in other ar­eas.

But Janet Jack­son, coun­cil­lor for Mac­cles­field Cen­tral ward, said she will fight the de­ci­sion: “The Labour group will be call­ing it into scru­tiny to chal­lenge that de­ci­sion and get them to think again. It is just another case of cut­ting ser­vices be­cause of the bud­get the coun­cil has. They are proud to say they won’t in­crease coun­cil tax but the price to pay is a cut in ser­vices.”

Last week, Coun Les Gil­bert, Cab­i­net Mem­ber for Com­mu­ni­ties, said the coun­cil had to con­sider whether it could jus­tify the cost of the ex­ist­ing in-house ser­vice.

Read­ers took to Face­book af­ter the Ex­press’ re­port on the pro­posal last week. Joy Swindells said: “There are plenty of rats and mice run­ning around town. Please don’t cut this ser­vice too, it costs loads to go pri­vate and not ev­ery­one can af­ford it.”

Alex Op­pen­heim said: “How about re­in­stat­ing weekly refuse col­lec­tions?

“The pest is­sue would be a lot eas­ier to han­dle and the cuts would be jus­ti­fied.”

But Craig Wil­son said res­i­dents should take mat­ters into their own hands. He said: “The first thing I did was or­der up bait sta­tions when we had rats, it didn’t even oc­cur to me to get some­one else to do this. Also com­ment­ing on our Face­book page was Hugh Ry­nall, who says he is one of the coun­cil’s four pest con­trollers.

He said: “This year has been un­prece­dented in the num­ber of rats we’ve had to deal with.

“If you don’t want rats on your prop­erty, re­move bird feed­ers un­til the win­ter, make sure bins are sealed and put fine wire mesh on the bot­tom of your com­post bin.”

The new struc­ture will be im­ple­mented on Oc­to­ber 1.

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