Please get rid of the rats beside our water taxi

A rat on the water taxi pontoon netting. SG240414-117TW
A rat on the water taxi pontoon netting. SG240414-117TW
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A resident is pleading with the council to get rid of “big bruiser rats” scuttling around near customers using the Spalding Water Taxi pontoon in Double Street.

Following her complaint, Spalding Guardian photographer Tim Wilson captured a stunning picture of a rat with bread in its mouth running along netting beside the pontoon while water taxi customers were disembarking.

Rats have been seen on top of the riverbank at the same spot – with people only feet away – and disappearing into gaping cracks in riverside brickwork between the pontoon and High Bridge and in similar cracks near a footbridge.

The resident, who asked not to be named, often sees rats during daily walks with her dog.

She said: “Only the other day a big bruiser of a rat came out from a waste bin near the water taxi mooring. It looked like it had made a nice little home under the bin – it was certainly well fed.

“The council should do something now to get rid of the rats because our water taxi tourists could be put off if they see the rats so close to the pontoon.”

District council portfolio holder Coun Roger Gambba-Jones said: “We have rat bait bins installed along the riverbank to help limit numbers as much as possible, and we also empty the waste bins daily to reduce sources of food. However rats are natural wildlife found on all riverbanks and can never be completely eliminated.

“We regularly monitor rat numbers and will carry out additional checks now to assess whether there is anything further we could do.

“We know how much local families enjoy visiting the river and feeding the ducks, but we would ask everyone to be careful not to leave any bread on the riverside as we know how much the rat population rely on all types of our food waste.”