Stoke news: Support a worker living in a council flat where rats keep coming back

Lucy Coe has a complaint about her council flat in Meir.  Among other things, she has had problems with rats and rat urine.  She says the council has not addressed the issue and as a result she has to store her food and kitchen utensils in a separate room.

Lucy says the kitchen smells of urine and she has found smears from the rats (Image: BPM)

A support worker says she fears falling ill because her council flat is infested with rats.

Lucy Coe says she can’t cook in her kitchen because the cupboards are covered in urine, fur and smears, so she uses her second bedroom as a pantry.

Pest control officers have visited the flat in Stoke-on-Trent but they keep coming back, so she wants the council to give her a new kitchen.

Lucy said: ‘Because of the rats my cupboards are in a terrible state. There is urine in the wood, and no matter how it is cleaned, an odor lingers.

‘I cannot use my kitchen because of the risk to my health and safety as it is unsanitary and disgusting. How am I expected to cook here? I’m upset about the state of my flat and paranoid at every little noise.’

The problem started in March, but the rats keep showing up.

Lucy said: ‘I used to have rats in my kitchen. A pest control woman came out, she moved my dryer and stove and hit them with a spoon to kill them. She used her own spoon, I don’t know why she had a spoon.

Lucy Coe has a complaint about her council flat in Meir.  Among other things, she has had problems with rats and rat urine.  She says the council has not addressed the issue and as a result she has to store her food and kitchen utensils in a separate room.

Lucy has to store her food and kitchen utensils in different parts of her council flat (Image: BPM)

‘The problem was solved and a hole was filled outside. I thought everything was fine except the kitchen was a bit damaged. Then suddenly they came back.

‘It was in June when I noticed they had come back having eaten the nuts out of my cupboard and they were good nuts too!

“I’ve seen about seven rats. I think they are all from the same nest.

‘The advice came out on July 20 after the rats came back. Because it was extensive work they said the council manager would have to come out.

‘It was going to be a big job so they wanted to do it. After about a week of them not coming out, I started complaining.

‘Every time I speak to the council I’m tricked into saying I’m getting a phone call. I’m still waiting. I cannot get in touch with the housing office. It has been really difficult.

‘At first I could laugh, but now it’s not a joke anymore. It has gone on too long.

Lucy Coe has a complaint about her council flat in Meir.  Among other things, she has had problems with rats and rat urine.  She says the council has not addressed the issue and as a result she has to store her food and kitchen utensils in a separate room.

The problem has persisted since March when the rats are returning (Image: BPM)

‘I pay full rent and I get no help. I work to give back to the community, but the council that I help does not give back to me.

‘I sent in the pictures of my kitchen and I mentioned how it has affected my health.

‘It’s my first apartment. I have never known anything like it. I haven’t lived here that long, but when I’ve lived elsewhere, I’ve never known anything like it.’

Councilor Carl Edwards said: ‘We have made several visits to the property over the summer to carry out treatments and assess the situation. The exterior of the property has been checked for access points with no problems.

‘We are continuing to work to resolve the issue and Unitas colleagues will be visiting the property this week to move a kitchen unit to try and locate any access points via the internal drain.’

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