Southwark housing estate is ‘alive’ with rats after council failures

By Grainne Cuffe, Local Democracy Reporter

An estate has been plagued by a mice and rat infestation for months as the council has failed to evict the vermin.

The only residents of the Dodson and Amigo estate in Southwark who are happy with the state of the blocks seem to be the rodents.

Its human inhabitants, on the other hand, say town hall officials have done very little to solve the problem.

And they said it took more than a month before the council sent pest control down.

Photographs show dead rats and mice in several flats, some with maggots on them. Another shows a disemboweled rat in the communal garden.

Jacquie Gilmartin said the infestation in her flat started in May.

The 63-year-old, who is petrified of mice, said: “This has gone on for months.

“It’s disgusting – the council should be ashamed. This problem has been around since May and they’re still talking about these block treatments.

“Every single day they are failing us as landlords.”

Jacquie, who has been checking in on people, said the estate is “alive” with rats and there are vulnerable people living with infestations.

She said: “There are some people who are so vulnerable they’re not even aware.

“One woman’s got them crawling up her back wall. What we’re saying is don’t just rely on the residents to sort out this problem.”

Another resident told how he had to go and get his own traps after the council failed to do it.

He said: “After we reported it we had to wait for six or seven weeks – as a landlord you’d think that would be a priority for health and safety.”

The council is planning to redevelop some of the estate, which is locally opposed.

Jacquie said: “We’ve got to fight. We believe they are running us into the ground.”

The council said it was planning to do a big pest treatment in September, while workers continue to visit the communal areas on the estate regularly.

Cllr Darren Merrill, cabinet member for a safer, cleaner borough, said: “We began a full block treatment of Amigo House and Dodson Street in July and it will be done again starting in September, including the surrounding blocks.

“We will write to confirm the schedule of works by letter to residents.”



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