Cllr Peter Roberts, Labour’s Lead on Environment and Waste at Cambridge City Council, which is finely balanced between Liberal Democrat and Labour control, has said that the planned cuts to the City’s pest control service are wrong and the City’s Labour group would reverse the cuts if they took control in May 2014. Labour plan to fund the pest control service through cuts to the Council’s subscription budget to organisations and professional institutes.
Councillor Roberts said: ”The decision to end the Council’s pest control service is short- sighted and represents a false economy once the costs of bringing in commercial pest control contractors for parks, play areas and council owned properties is also factored in. Further, the £10,000 the Liberal Democrats propose to set aside to help those who cannot afford treatment won’t even scratch the surface of need in a rapidly expanding City.”
“Pests such as rats not only pose a serious threatto people's health but they are also responsible for the spread of disease among pets. If someone on your road cannot afford to call in pest controllers, it can soon become a major problem for all nearby properties. Anyone who walks through town at night can see that discarded food everywhere brings a risk of a rat problem to the city centre or busy areas like Mill Road, and the Council needs to ensure it can tackle this. Unlike the Liberal Democrats, Labour will not play Russian roulette with disease in our City. We value the significant experience and expertise our frontline staff bring to this area so we want to be clear that if the Liberal Democrats proceed with this planned cut, we would reverse the decision immediately upon taking control, and re-instate pest control as a free service for residents in Cambridge".