Banbury’s canalside rats problem needs to be addressed

Cllr Surinder Dhesi
Cllr Surinder Dhesi

‘Big, fat rats’ are blighting the canalside and costing people thousands of pounds in pest control so the council needs to do something about it, according to a councillor.

Cllr Surinder Dhesi said she has had lots of complaints from residents and businesses who have done their best to deal with a vermin problem along the canal by Castle Quay Shopping Centre.

The Labour councillor believes Cherwell District Council needs to take the initiative and sort the issue out for good, which she believes is mainly caused by litter in the canal.

A district council spokesman said there was no evidence to suggest it needed to take action to remove rodents from the canalside, while a spokesman for The Canal & Rivers Trust urged people not to litter.

“Residents and businesses are having to spend thousands of pounds on various pest control people and this must be sorted out so I asked the council as they can take the initiative on this,” she said.

“I’ve had lots of complaints from people saying there’s lots of rats and they are getting bigger. I said to [council leader] Barry Wood that Castle Quay 2 will be commencing soon and if the vermin problem is growing it means the rats will be making their nests in the new building too.”

Cllr Dhesi said there had been a vermin issue by the canal for a long time but recently the rats had gotten larger and less afraid of humans.

The council spokesman said it has ‘robust’ pest control measures in place but would continue to monitor the situation.

The Canal & Rivers Trust spokesman added that its bin store was secure and it had no problem with rats.