Southwark Housing Estate lives with rats after council failure

By Grainne Cuffe, local democracy reporter

A property has been ravaged by a mouse and rat infestation for months as the council failed to drive the vermin away.

The only residents of the Dodson and Amigo estate in Southwark who are happy with the condition of the blocks appear to be the rodents.

The human residents, on the other hand, say that city hall officials did very little to solve the problem.

And they said it took more than a month for the council to send pest control down.

Photos show dead rats and mice in several apartments, some with maggots on them. Another shows a gutted rat in the community garden.

Jacquie Gilmartin said the infestation began in her home in May.

The 63-year-old, petrified in front of mice, said: “This has been going on for months.

“It’s disgusting – the Council should be ashamed. This problem has been around since May and they are still talking about these block treatments.

“Every day they let us down as landlords.”

Jacquie, who was looking for people, said the property was “alive” with rats and there were vulnerable people living with an infestation.

She said, “There are some people who are so vulnerable that they don’t even notice.

“A woman crawled them up the back wall. What we’re saying is don’t just rely on the residents to solve this problem. “

Another resident shared how he had to go and get his own traps after the council failed.

He said, “After we reported it, we had to wait six or seven weeks – as a landlord you’d think that would be a health and safety priority.”

The council plans to redevelop part of the property, which is locally rejected.

Jacquie said, “We have to fight. We believe that they will ram us into the ground. “

The council said it plans to do a major pest control in September while workers continue to regularly visit common areas on the property.

Cllr Darren Merrill, Cabinet Officer for a Safer and Cleaner District, said, “We started a full block treatment of Amigo House and Dodson Street in July and will be doing again from September, including the surrounding blocks.

“We will write to confirm the work schedule by letter to the residents.”

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