RATS are running rampant in an Oswaldtwistle back alley, it was claimed.

Residents along a section of Union Road have complained about rubbish piling up, attracting vermin, local councillor Peter Britcliffe said.

A row has since broken out over who is responsible for clearing it up.

Coun Britcliffe said area council caretakers used keep back alleys tidy, but in an email seen by the Lancashire Telegraph, a council worker said the back street is unadopted, and therefore the responsibility of those living there.

Coun Britcliffe was contacted by an elderly resident concerned about the mess, who he said is too old to clear the mess herself.

He said: “She is particularly mentioning a former off licence back yard, close to her house.

“The point I’m making is that there are so many unadopted back streets in Hyndburn, we have to got to keep the rubbish cleared off them.

“This is now just a licence to fly tip.”

In an emailed response to Coun Britcliffe’s concerns, head of environmental partnerships at Hyndburn Council, Tony Akrigg, wrote: “I’ve made some enquiries about this and it appears the back street is unadopted, so the maintenance and cleansing is the responsibility of premises that adjoin it.”

Mr Akrigg said a litter notice may be the most appropriate course of action