Living in fear of estate rats
SHOCKED residents claim their estate is swarming with “rats as big as cats”.
The giant rodents have been spotted scurrying in Fellowes Gardens in Fletton, Peterborough, for the past month leaving people fearful to step out of their homes.
Residents are also concerned about youngsters’ safety after seeing children playing with the dead vermin.
They believe the source of the problem is household rubbish being dumped around the railway line at the back of the street but believe the estate has suffered from years of neglect by the local authorities.
Cross Keys Homes and Peterborough City Council have said they have stepped in to eradicate the problem.
Betty Bell (61) has been a resident on the estate for 22 years. She said: “There are rats running round everywhere. Kids are playing with rats in buckets.
“Bags of household rubbish have been flung on the railway line at the bottom of the estate and that’s drawing them here.
“It has got worse and worse. Nobody is giving us a helping hand. The place needs cleaning up. The fences are broken, it needs a play area and the big trees need cutting. The rats are the last straw.”
Another resident, David Dent, said: “Every time we go down there, there are rats as big as cats running round. I’ve seen four and five-yearolds chasing rats and even kids picking up dead rats. It needs to be sorted out before someone gets bitten. It’s a serious problem.”
Grandfather Alan Clark (62) has lived in the street for 30 years and says it has fallen into decline before his eyes.
He said: “There are rats running round, garages are derelict and people are putting their houses on the market but can’t sell them.
“They are the size of kittens and come from three or four different areas of the estate. The problems here have been going back 10 years but nothing is being done. There are trees pushing up the founda- tions in the middle of the square, it’s like a tip.
“The worst thing for me is I’ve tried to get off the estate since my wife died, but I’ve had to take it off the market because no-one wants to come here.”
At a neighbourhood council meeting on Thursday night, Peterborough city council leader Marco Cereste vowed to take action.
He said: “The rat problem needs to be sorted out straight away. We can’t have rats of that size running around where children play.”
Neighbourhood manager for the area Lisa Emmanuel said the council would step in and work towards a solution.
Claire Higgins, director of operations at Cross Keys Homes, which owns some of the houses on the estate said: “We will continue to work with Peterborough City Council and Anglian Water to identify the problem with the rats and we will assist in putting any preventative measures in place.
“I would call for all residents to make sure household waste is disposed of correctly to avoid exacerbating the rodent problem.”