Go ahead is given for pest control cuts
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.