Labour dubbed ‘pests’ in row over rat-catching

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RULING Labour councillors in Sheffield have been criticised for continuing to charge for rat-catching when they promised to abolish the fees.

Opposition Lib Dems, who introduced a £35 charge in April last year for the service, have accused the new administration of failing to keep to its promises. The charge is now £36.

The rat-catching service remains free for people on low incomes,

Lib Dem leader, Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, said: “We all remember what a fuss Labour made when a charge for rat-catching was introduced, to bring the service into line with other pest control charges.

“They promised to abolish the charge before the election to gain some votes, but now they are in control it has been forgotten about. I’m sure those still being charged think the real pests are Labour for not keeping to their promise.”

“Already, 56 households have been charged a total of around £2,000 since Labour came to power.

“However, if I were them I wouldn’t hold out much hope of Labour giving them the refund they are entitled to.”

Labour cabinet member for environment and transport, Coun Leigh Bramall, said: “Coun Mohammed has got a cheek calling foul when he himself was the Cabinet Member who brought in this unpopular charge for rat-catching. “

“Labour has been in charge for just one month and unfortunately it’s going to take us a lot longer than that to clear up the mess the Lib Dems have left us.

“We will be making an announcement imminently about our plans for pest control services.”