A PENSIONER is livid with the response he received from his council after spotting rats outside his property.

Michael Kennedy, 87, of Churchill Avenue, Rishton, is “appalled” and says Hyndburn Council and its leader, Miles Parkinson, should be ashamed of themselves after several excuses were made as to why they could do nothing to help him quickly.

Cllr Parkinson said he sympathised with Mr Kennedy but his authority had limited resources. He said its pest removal service was free and it would get to the complaint when resources allowed.

Mr Kennedy said: “It’s an absolute disgrace and this council are full of hot air when it comes to real issues. This isn’t a bad, untidy area - we never have problems like this. So when we do, it’s not unreasonable to expect that they would do what they can to help.

“The response I received to my polite complaint about sighting baby rats outside mine and neighbouring properties is disgusting and totally unsatisfactory.

“I don’t want this problem to get out of hand. I’m an old chap and my neighbour, who I like to look out for as she has serious health issues, is 91. If she saw a rat, well, I dread to think.

“If action were to be taken immediately, a serious health problem could be eliminated. But no, it’s excuse after excuse.”

Mr Kennedy said he was told the council would not send someone to his address until September 3 and that if he expected a response sooner, he would have to pay for it.

Cllr Miles Parkinson, leader of Hyndburn Council, said: “Of course the council will deal with rats – it has an environmental service. However, it does have limited resources.

“We are one of the few council that don’t charge. If you go to most councils across East Lancashire, they bring in a charge.

“Now, due to people finding out about that, the workload is high depending on different times of the year due to the level of callouts.

“This may take longer than we would like and that is unfortunate. Of course, the only alternative for the council in the long term is to bring in a charge for other resources like other councils do.

“Again, that is an option Mr Kennedy has. If you go to other councils, it may be cheaper to go to a verified company than take the councils services for removing rats.”