An MP has said there has been a rise in the number of people coming to her complaining about rats.

Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi described the rat problem being experienced by her constituents as 'shocking' and said she has noticed a rise in her casework involving the issue.

It comes as Farnworth residents shared their upset and fears over a ‘rat infestation’ in the area in recent months.

Farnworth North councillor Cllr Sue Haworth, Executive Member for Regulatory Service, previously told The Bolton News that she noticed the issue with rats and mice “getting substantially worse” in in 2021.

Ms Qureshi says she is shocked that the rat problem has continued to get worse in the past few years.

Bolton Council baited George Street and the surrounding area last week.

The Bolton News: This was a rat that Angela Hardman found in her gardenThis was a rat that Angela Hardman found in her garden (Image: Public)

Mrs Qureshi said: “It is shocking that the rat problem was allowed to grow in the last few years.

“I have noticed a marked increase in the number of cases in my inbox and at advice surgeries.”

Mrs Qureshi also says that she believes the issue has grown due to the cancelling of free pest control, which is in the process of being made free again.

“It has to be said this has coincided with the last Conservative administration cancelling free pest control services and introducing a charge.

“I understand the new Labour administration are reversing that decision.

The Bolton News: Rat droppings in a Farnworth resident's shed outsideRat droppings in a Farnworth resident's shed outside (Image: Public)“I hope there is some progress on that in 2024 so constituents of mine can have these issues dealt with promptly.”

The issue became so bad for people in Farnworth on the New Bury estate that people were seeing them sitting on bins, carpets, and digging holes in their gardens.

Angela Hardman, 48, who lives on the estate says that she constantly hears rats and at times hears them 'screaming'.

And when she goes outside, she can also smell ‘rat urine’ and is fearful that that they could make their way inside her home.

In November 2022 Gareth Jennings, who lives in Farnworth, and his wife and three children shared with The Bolton News how frustrated he was dealing with a yearly rat invasion.

The Bolton News: Rat droppings underneath a resident's cupboard at a property on the New Bury estateRat droppings underneath a resident's cupboard at a property on the New Bury estate (Image: Newsquest)At the time he said that every winter, rats were getting in to take advantage of the warmth, but he did not know how.

A spokesperson for Bolton Council previously said: “In areas with persistent rat problems, the council will take action including clearing dumped waste on public land and working with United Utilities to bait sewers.
“While this appears to be a result of an isolated incident, we will monitor the situation in the area.
“Similar to other local authorities, the council does charge homeowners a fee for pest control services and charges are in line with those in the private sector.”

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