Rats are causing 'abhorrent situation' in town, admits councillor

Soham councillor Mark Goldsack on rat issue

Soham town and district councillor Mark Goldsack (inset) said the rat problem will be tackled. - Credit: Submitted/Ben Jolley

Residents may be starting to feel anxious that rats could again pose a problem this winter after some were spotted in a Cambridgeshire town. 

The rats were found on Brook Dam Lane in Soham and captured on camera by one resident, who said that they see “10 plus each day” in the area. 

“I don't live near that area so it personally doesn’t affect me, but it's the worry of disease and children visiting that worries me,” the resident said. 

Since the photographs were posted on social media, others living in and around the town expressed their concerns about the rodents. 

Rats found near Brook Dam Lane, Soham

An increase in the rat population in Soham has been identified as winter approaches. - Credit: Submitted

It is thought more rats may have appeared in the Brook Dam Lane/Causeway area as ducks are usually fed near the Soham Lode Drain. 

With plentiful food sources in public spaces like residential areas, it is likely that the rat population could increase. 

Rats discovered near Brook Dam Lane, Soham

An increase in the rat population in Soham has been identified as winter approaches. - Credit: Submitted

District and county councillor Mark Goldsack said East Cambridgeshire District Council’s environmental services team are looking into the issue. 

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“I think it is an abhorrent situation,” he said. 

“The environmental health team were spoken to about the matter on Friday (October 8).  

“An officer did see evidence of rats in the area and will liaise with Soham Town Council about it.” 

Cllr Goldsack said the rat population in Soham may be discussed at a town council meeting tonight (Monday). 

Bait boxes could also be implemented in the Brook Dam Lane/Causeway areas of Soham as well as elsewhere in the town to help combat the problem. 

Mark Goldsack who was re-elected for Soham North and Isleham division on East Cambs Council

Cllr Mark Goldsack described the current rat situation in Soham as "abhorrent". - Credit: Ben Jolley

“It looks like some permanent bait boxes may be needed rather than a one-off attempt to rid the rats for good,” he said. 

“The environmental health team are on it, are talking with other agencies and are hoping to go back to the area at the earliest opportunity.” 

In 2020, the population of rats in the county had rapidly risen. 

Data by Pest.co.uk revealed that Ely was home to 44,439 rats, an increase of nearly 10,000 from 2019. 

Meanwhile in Cambridge, the rat population was up by 25 per cent.  

Reasons such as Covid-19 lockdowns, vacant commercial property and poor waste management are thought to have caused the upsurge. 

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