Rats plague playgroup

PUBLISHED: 10:44 04 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:19 06 April 2010

Rubbish piles up in Jepps Lane

Rubbish piles up in Jepps Lane

RATS plaguing a Royston lane are said to be causing a health hazard for scared residents and children at a nearby playgroup. The vermin have been spotted on several occasions in Jepps Lane, off Royston High Street, where it is thought they are attracted

RATS plaguing a Royston lane are said to be causing a health hazard for scared residents and children at a nearby playgroup.

The vermin have been spotted on several occasions in Jepps Lane, off Royston High Street, where it is thought they are attracted by a pile of rubbish bags which have been sitting there for more than a month without collection.

Lesley Scheuber, of Melbourn Street, has twice seen rats in the Lane.

She said: "I have to go to work at 6.30am and I'm too scared to go that way now since I saw the rats.

"With all the rubbish that's down there it's becoming a real health hazard. It's shocking that it hasn't been collected yet really, the pile of black bags just keeps growing and growing.

"The amount of pigeon mess down there is quite disgusting as well, especially as it is so near the playgroup," she said.

The rubbish mountain is located at the back of the Anatolia restaurant, which closed earlier this year, and is opposite the entrance to the Masonic Hall, which houses the Papillon Playgroup.

Anne Walls, from the playgroup, said she called Environmental Health officers when she saw a rat scuttling around in the area last month.

She said: "They came out to look at the Lane four or five weeks ago but I haven't heard anything since, the rubbish situation appears to be getting worse and worse. I think people just see a pile of black bags and think its ok for them to add to it.

"It's very unpleasant for the parents when they are waiting outside for their children, they could pick up all sorts of germs and things."

Royston's town centre manager Geraint Burnell said that he reported the situation in Jepps Lane to the Environmental Health department "several weeks ago".

He said: "I contacted them via the District Council and was told that they are working on it."

Mr Burnell added that measures to prevent pigeons nesting in the High Street were being discussed by the Royston First Business Improvement District committee.

He said: "At the moment our preferred scheme is to put up netting in the areas where the pigeons like to roost. We're told this is more effective than spikes or wires.

"How much is put up will depend how much money is available, and we will be applying to the Royston area committee for matched funding in due course," he said.

A spokesman for North Herts District Council said they were first contacted about rats in Jepps Lane back in January

He said: "We found that the waste bins in the courtyard behind the buildings were kept in good order by the users, with no loose rubbish liable to attract rats.

"At the time we saw no need for further action but anyone who has concerns should call our pest control contractors on 01462 733173.

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