Rat action plan set out by Sunderland opposition councillors as they call for a crackdown on vermin
Community leaders have set out a five-point plan on how the rise of rats across Sunderland streets and parks can be brought under control.
Sunderland Conservatives have put together its Rat Action Plan after residents said they were becoming overrun with the pests.
Roker Park and a number of roads nearby are a hotspot, with people living in the East End and Silksworth among those to contact the Echo after becoming overwhelmed by the problem, with the animals getting into homes and knawing through bins.
The city’s Conservative group has said it has put together the plans “in an effort to make Sunderland City Council more proactive in dealing with rodent issues” with transport hubs, school fields and Barnes Park also among the places where residents have reported problems.
The party’s plan is:
A more responsive pest control system, allocating money from area committees into solutions Make it easier to report outbreaks to the council online A weekly pest control plan, shared with councillors Cutting back shrubbery, bushes and overgrown grass in residential areas More environmental health enforcement when homes and businesses are attracting vermin.
Councillor James Doyle, deputy leader of the Conservative Group and shadow cabinet member for the environment and transport, said: “Rat infestations are a serious public health concern and they demand a swift and effective response.
"The council’s approach to date has been wholly ineffective and we believe the people of Sunderland deserve better.
"Our rat action plan will ensure the council takes responsibility for the safety of its residents, instead of kicking the can down the road."
Councillor Antony Mullen, leader of the Conservatives on the council, added: “I receive multiple reports each week about rats in Barnes Park.
"I have reported, on multiple occasions, the rats on Plains Farm Academy fields.
"The response to these reports has been delayed and ineffective, much to my and residents’ mutual disappointment."
It found the likely cause of the issue in Donnison Gardens in the East End to be a damaged sewer nearby.