Friday, May 15, 2015

Redbridge Rats

There is a new PDF document on Redbridge-i that tells you all you ever wanted to know about rats. Apparently our native Black Rat is very rare (like our native red squirrel) and you are very unlikely to see one in Redbridge. What we have got here is the Brown Rat or Norway Rat. Anyway the most important bit is right at the top in the very first sentence:
Rats pose a significant health risk; they can carry a range of serious diseases which can be transmitted to humans. The most serious of these are Weil's disease, Plague, Salmonella food poisoning and Toxoplasmosis.
Given the nature of the public health risk (significant) our local authority has hitherto provided a Rat treament service for residential premises free of charge. Not any more. As of April 1st 2015 this service will now cost you £70. I have not been able to find any mention or notification of this in Redbridge Life, on the council website or indeed in the budget papers presented to Cabinet and Full Council. It may be there, but I haven’t found it. (The search facility on Redbridge-i isn’t that good.)

What I did find was the results of last year’s You Choose exercise. Out of a population of somewhere near 300,000 there were 677 responses. That’s 0.23% or just less than one quarter of one percent. Of the 677 responses, 516 chose the option “Introduce charges for some free services”, not knowing which of the free services the council had in mind.

So, the question now is: what other hitherto free services now incur a charge? And should we be told?

My guess is that most people who use this service, as from 1st April, would not know that it used to be free (unlike former Councillors) and would not question it - and this may also be true for any other service charges that have been introduced and we don't know about, until we come to use them.


  1. difficult one this... i would have been one of those who voted for there to be a charge if i were asked,,i feel that if everyone where to take some responsability about the way we dispose of rubbish then there may not be such a big problem,you could also be like me an make a friend of every local cat then that will make sure you never get them,,but i must say i was at the local dump the other day and i could not believe the amount of mattresses and sofas that were being dumped there its all too disposable nowadays ,,,but at least they were there and not dumped on the street or garden

  2. pm, May 25, 2015

    1st April - is this an April Fool's joke, or is this how the Council regard its residents?

  3. Well, the council obviously considers the views of the vast majority who voted. To please 516 residents out of 677 is not bad. It does indicate that those of us who participate in local democracy are listened to.

  4. Ah yes, the You Choose survey. Set an insoluble problem and take the results as popular consent for pet projects.

    Of course the survey omitted the family of capybaras in the room (as we're talking rodents). The almost sacrosanct welfare budget leaves practically nothing for "services" of benefit to most residents.

    If it takes several months to crack down on a blatant Housing Benefit fraud - multiple use of the same address for Streeting's sake - then how much of council taxpayers' money is being hosed away by more secretive scams?

    Definitely a problem with vermin round here. Mostly elected.

    1. Housing Benefit is paid from the central government budget.
      Local Authorities have no say in the rates or the eligibility criteria, which are determined by central government.
      This case has no direct financial implications for the Redbridge budget other than the cost of the investigation and prosecution.
      When pursuing such cases there is the small matter of due process and collecting evidence that will stand up in court and this, I'm afraid does take a little time.

  5. dear Mr bside 21 any idea of how the investigation etc cost..i know it may not be any of my business but it is useful when i have to see my social worker who no doubt will once again be told by her bosses to cut my sons care package because the nature of his disability means he does not use it every month yet the next he might but i can be sure this will be manipulated to make it look like the full budget is not needed..hence the bosses instructions for a review so as i am sure you can understand that with the carers payment under threat and my sons budget also it pains me to see that losing 1.5 million seems to not be a problem to Redbridge because once again they are not accountable but will no doubt prove they are strict on budget by cutting back on those who are easiest to so it too

    1. No I don't know how much the investigation cost but if you really want to know you could ask one of your three councillors.
      On your son - are you in contact with the Redbridge Disability Consortium who can advise on such matters?
      Contact details here:

  6. yes thank you for the advice mr b side 21.....but according to the woodford guardian today it looks like the oakfields is getting the go ahead,,very sad