A Harrow resident voiced their concern over an alleged rat infestation issue in the borough, specifically in West Harrow Park, during a council meeting held at Harrow Arts Centre.
The meeting served as a forum for dialogue between community members, who can pose questions to local councillors, and offered insights into the hurdles faced when tackling pest-related issues in Harrow.
The question, posed by West Harrow resident Dipaque Bhatt, revolved around the council’s strategies for public baiting in areas afflicted by rat infestations, especially in West Harrow Park.
Councillor Anjana Patel, the Portfolio Holder for Highways, Infrastructure, and Community Safety, acknowledged the severity of the problem and clarified the legal framework guiding the council’s actions.
“Thank you very much for your question, London Borough of Harrow has specific legal powers to tackle issues with rats and mice.
“On private land, it is owners of the land who are responsible to deal with the issue and the London Borough of Harrow will work with the landlords to ensure they undertake their responsibilities.
“This can include service a notice on an order, or an occupier ordering work to get rid of the problem. The London Borough of Harrow no longer provides pest control service, however there are many providers that can be utilised for this, some of whom the council promotes on their pest control information webpage.
“Where there is a vermin or pest issue on council-owned location, this can be reported on our website. This includes locations such as Harrow’s parks, and council owned properties. We can never entirely get rid of rats, and it is not unusual to see them close to railway lines.”
Bhatt asked Cllr Patel about the persistent rat issue in West Harrow Park and highlighted the presence of fly-tipping adding to the problem.
Cllr Patel admitted the challenges faced by the council. She replied, “To be honest, as far as the park is concerned, and talking about rats in the park, there is no way we can get rid of the rats in the park, this is not the only park we have, we have many, many parks and many open spaces, and there is definitely not enough funding to do this kind of work.
“Where we have a responsibility, we are acting and we are acting very promptly where we need to, but as far as getting rid of rats, I haven’t seen any borough actually getting rid of rats [entirely] from their borough.”
In response to the fly-tipping point raised, Cllr Patel said, “Wherever we think there is a problem, if there is a fly-tip lying around for a long time, that is something which is an issue which I would definitely look into because that should never be there.
“If there is a fly tip in the parks, that should be got rid of straight away.
“You can always get in touch with me and I will do what is necessary”, she added