MP calls meeting to discuss action on Southcote's rat infestation problem

Reading West MP Alok Sharma held a meeting on Friday 22nd July to discuss Reading Borough Council’s and Thames Water’s response to the rat infestation problems in parts of Southcote. Earlier in the day he also met with some of the residents affected by the rat infestation.

The meeting on Friday was attended by Reading Borough Council Chief Executive Michael Coughlin together with two of the council’s officers, along with three representatives from Thames Water.

Alok Sharma said: “I called this meeting to ensure that we have a fully co-ordinated approach to dealing with the rat infestation problem in Southcote which has affected properties in a number of roads in the area and I was pleased that, during the meeting, we were also able to discuss ways in which Reading Borough Council and Thames Water could co-ordinate their work further.”

Alok continued: “Work is still on-going to establish the precise source and reasons for this infestation but I hope both the Council and Thames Water will have further results from their investigations in the coming days and I will be holding a further meeting with both organisations this week to discuss progress as I am keen that everyone keeps up their efforts to sort out this very serious problem.”

Alok concluded: “I want to hear from any of my constituents who are being affected by rat infestation issues so we can work out the full extent of this problem and deal with it in a comprehensive and fully co-ordinated manner.”

Bob Collington, Asset Management Director at Thames Water, said: “We met last week with Reading Borough Council and we continue to assist the Environmental Health officers by baiting, trapping and poisoning the rats that have been using our network as a means to get to their food sources. It was agreed that we would widen the baiting area if necessary until we are satisfied the problem has been removed.”