HATTERSLEY residents are confident swift and decisive action by Tameside Council has tackled the infestation of rats on the estate.
Council workmen have baited sewers and handed out about 50 bait boxes without charge to be put in gardens to get rid of the rodents.
And Dylan Longmate, who runs the Hattersley Community Page, which has 4,000 Facebook members, said the battle appears to have been won.
He explained: “The issue about rats is no longer the main topic on the group.
“There are a lot less complaints about rats and I don’t think there was been a post about them for the last fortnight.”
Residents have also played their part by undertaking a massive litter pick to remove rubbish which harbours vermin.
Two dozen litter pickers braved a bitterly cold Saturday morning, when there was snow on the ground, to collect 26 bin bags of rubbish over a two-hour period.
Dylan said: “We had a great response which showed the brilliant sense of community spirit we have.“The only problem we had with the litter pick was we kept running out of bags.”
Dylan also praised Councillor Betty Affleck – she was one of the litter pickers – for her intervention in getting a cracked sewer on St James’ Court repaired. It was believed to be contributing to the problems.
After the success of the litter pick, Dylan added it is hoped they will become regular events.
Pupils at Pinfield Primary have also become involved in the fight against fly-tipping. They have been creating posters which will be displayed in shops and other public places on the estate.
Dylan believes the media publicity about fly-tipping, which was said to be a factor in the rat problem, has helped reduce the dumping.He said: “We used to get dumping on Chain Bar Lane twice a week, but I think people are wary of coming here now because of the publicity.
“We are pressing the council for cameras at fly-tipping hotspots and bollards on Chain Bar Lane to stop vehicles accessing it.”
After the initial article about the rats, Dylan said the story went viral and he received request for interviews from national newspapers and even Channel 5 which he declined.
The problems with rats began about the time of the first lockdown in March and gradually became worse and last month Jonathan Reynolds, MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, was asked to intervene.The Hattersley Community Group contained posts from many residents who had seen rats in lofts and wall cavities in their homes, under decking in gardens and on the streets. They claimed the whole estate is “over-run” with rodents, a problem which recently reached breaking point.
Dylan posted a message that he had seen a rat in his garden and within an hour more than 100 people had commented with similar experiences.
• To report illegal waste disposal or fly-tipping in Tameside visit www.tameside.gov.uk/reportit or call 0161 342 8355.