A PADIHAM councillor and county councillor is concerned about rat infestations in the town after a shopper complained about seeing the rodents on a department store car park.

Cllr Alan Hosker acted after receiving an email about the animals running around near the Boyes branch on Burnley Road.

He said the infestation was ‘disgusting’ and contacted Burnley Council.

It inspected the car park and blamed people feeding ducks in a nearby river.

The resident told Cllr Hosker - borough councillor of Hapton with Park ward and county councillor for Padiham and Burnley West: “Today I visited Boyes in Padiham and was appalled to see the number of rats on the car park.

“There were so many running around in broad daylight, at least 50 and so close to the store. This to me is a major health issue that needs addressing as soon as possible.

“I could see that there was food being left for the ducks. I think some major pest control measures should be put in place to curb this plague."

Cllr Hosker said: “It is disgusting to see so many rats on a store car park. Other folk were shocked and stated they will never shop in Padiham again. It is not just here but elsewhere in the town.I have had reports of rats in other places.

“It seems they are being disturbed by building and drainage work. Something needs to be done,especially with major flood defence works due later this year."

A Burnley Council spokesman said: “The council has been made aware there have been sightings of rats in the car park adjacent to a store in the centre of Padiham. It is an issue that has intermittently arisen due to the continued feeding of the ducks in the adjacent river. Measures will be put in place to address the problem."

Kevin Marson, maintenance manager for Scarborough-based W Boyes and Co Ltd,said: “This is unexpected and very unusual. We will work with any authority to rectify this as soon as possible. The rats are not from our store."