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Action call over rodents rise in Blackburn town centre
TRADERS’ leader Tony Duckworth and politicians have called on Blackburn with Darwen Council to tackle a growing town centre rat problem after a dead one was found in Railway Road.
They fear the increase in the rodents around the Cathedral and Boulevard since the knocking down of the old market could deter shoppers.
Borough environment boss Jim Smith promised in August measures to contain the problem of rats disturbed by the demolition migrating to the central area.
Shoppers and office workers reported increased sightings and this week a dead rat was found on the pavement between Morrison’s store and the recently-closed bus station.
Now Tory leader Mike Lee, Liberal Democrat councillor Paul Browne and Blackburn Chamber of Trade president Mr Duckworth want action against the pests stepped up.
Coun Shaukat Hussain said: “We have been made aware of a dead rat in Railway Road and our environmental officers have removed it. We are doing all we can to tackle pest problems and seeing a gradual decline in the number of reports of certain pests.
“Even a couple of bits of litter can attract rats and other pests so we always come down hard and prosecute people caught not disposing of rubbish in the correct manner.”
Mr Duckworth said: “They need to knuckle down and tackle this problem. If rats are disturbed by demolition they need to deal with them before the main Cathedral Quarter work starts. Rats could put people off shopping.”
Coun Browne said: “The council needs to stop denying there is a problem and start doing something about it. If shoppers see live or dead rats around the town centre, they will go somewhere else.”
Coun Lee said: “We know there are rats in the culvert under the town centre and if they are being disturbed, the council needs to start trapping them. This could have an effect on people coming into the central area to go shopping.”
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