Lowest increase in rat sightings

January 8, 2008 12:00 AM

Councillor Wera Hobhouse, the Council's Portfolio Holder for the Environment has hailed results that show that Rochdale has seen the lowest increase in the number of reported sightings of rats in Greater Manchester. Figures obtained from the Council show that there was a 2% increase of sightings of rats since last year. Of the Councils in Greater Manchester who have revealed their statistics, Rochdale has seen the lowest increase - 1068 sightings in 2006 up to 1088 sightings in 2007.

In Stockport there was a 20% increase, in Wigan a 10%, in Trafford 8% and in Bury 5%. The other authorities in Greater Manchester have not revealed their figures. It is claimed that Manchester City Centre saw a 100% increase in call-outs in the last year.

Councils have blamed milder winters and people dropping takeaway litter.

Councillor Hobhouse said, "I would like to praise our hard working Council Officers. That said, 1088 reported sightings over a year is still 1088 too many. We will continue to work with residents and businesses to ensure good practice. It is clear though that whilst reports of rats in other areas of Greater Manchester are going up massively, we have seen a modest increase. Whilst that is unacceptable, it is clear that we must be doing something better than other places.

"This should also nail the lie that alternate weekly collections lead to rats. This is an accusation often used by the irresponsible opposition on this Council. In other authorities that maintain weekly food collections, reports of rats are going up much faster. These figures prove that Labour in Rochdale is scaremongering and these figures, compared to other nearby authorities should embarrass them. That said, I would ask people to be careful not to drop litter, especially from takeaways, and ensure that their wheelie bin is shut. We are determined to reduce this figure by next year and that relies on not just good practice from the Council but also the public too."