Mum's anxiety over rat infestation outside Northampton home
A mum-of-one is calling on Northampton Partnership Homes to take action over a rat problem outside her front door.
Former cleaner Joanne Bruce lives with her partner Peter and one-year-old son Tate-John in Herbert Street and has been complaining of a rodent problem outside her flat block, St Marks House, for a few months.
She claims rats were first spotted in the car park between St Marks House and St John's House but in the past couple of months they have started to make their way into the bin chute room in the corridor where she lives.
The now full-time-mum said she wants Northampton Partnership Homes to oust the vermin for good by cleaning up rotting rubbish, advising residents to dispose of their bin bags properly and fill in the holes near the outdoor drain pipes where they might be living.
"Sometimes we hear the rats outside when myself and my partner stand at our front room window," Joanne said.
"We are very upset and annoyed about our son living in an environment where there's rats. I'm scared and anxious about walking past the rats but I'm worse when I take my son out.
"No one should live with rats, let alone children, it should be sorted as soon as possible."
She argued that council house tenants should not have to pay rent when living conditions are inadequate.
"No one should have to pay rent and live with rats," she added. "A solution needs sorting out so people get rid of their rubbish properly so the same thing does not keep happening. It's horrible and disgusting seeing, hearing and living with rats.
"It's making me poorly as I'm always on edge and I don't like going out where the rats are and hate taking my son that way.
"No one should feel uncomfortable and on edge in their own home."
A spokeswoman for Northampton Partnership Homes apologised but believes the problem will only be resolved in the long term if all residents take responsibility for "irresponsible rubbish dumping."
She said: "We are sorry to hear about any of our residents experiencing distress due to their environment.
"We are aware of the rat problem around St Marks House and have already instructed pest control contractors to take action, which we expect to take place in the next 24 hours.
"That said, this issue will not go away in the long term by treating the symptom.
"We need to the whole community to address the cause, which is the way some residents dispose of their rubbish.
"Flytipping and irresponsible rubbish disposal is one of the biggest issues for our housing team and local residents, so we urge residents to report this type of anti-social behaviour by calling 0300 330 7003 or by using the self-serve form on the council’s website."