Council to phase out pest control service
At the 10 May cabinet meeting members approved the recommendation to phase out the District Council’s pest control service.
The Council will continue to honour existing commercial contracts and where possible take bookings for domestic pests for the remainder of the financial year with a view to stopping the service on 29 March 2019.
The move follows a decline in the demand for pest control services and the associated costs to the local tax payer.
Members will consider mitigation measures for residents that may have difficulty in paying for private pest control services, such as people in receipt of benefits, before the end of the year.
Councillor Chris McFarling, Cabinet Member for the Environment said: “The number of residents requesting the service has dropped year on year as more people are self-treating pests.
“The Council has provided an effective pest control service for a number of years, but this has been subsidised by the local taxpayer.
“We have worked hard to reduce the expenditure, but with rising associated costs we have ascertained that it is not in the best interest of the taxpayer to continue to offer a pest control service in the long term.”
The council has no legal duty to provide a pest control service. It does however have a statutory duty under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 to ensure owners and occupiers of property keep their land free from rodents. If owners and occupiers fail in their obligations under the Act, formal action may be taken against them by the Council and/or they may be required to engage a pest control contractor.
The pest control service currently operates with two full time officers. We will be working with these officers to redeploy their skills internally where possible.