AT last we are getting some action.

Those are the words of Valley Park’s parish council chairman Alan Dowden after Test Valley environmental health officials acknowledged the area had rat problem and promised to do something about it.

Mr Dowden said: “Valley Park is plagued with them. We’ve always had rats but the sightings have become more numerous over the last year or and I am pleased that Test Valley is now taking the problem seriously.

He added that a private pest control officer has removed 16 dead rats from one property at Valley Park.

“They were caught under wooden decking,” added Mr Dowden, who joked that if rodent numbers weren’t reduced soon the Pied Piper of Hamlyn would have to be called in.

Responding to complaints from Mr Dowden and Valley Park residents, TVBC has started work on trying to eradicate the area’s rodent population.

This includes ensuring public amenities are clean and tidy and laying poisonous bait.

Borough cabinet spokesperson for housing and environment, Sandra Hawke said: “We are aware that residents are concerned about rats in Valley Park and are working hard to investigate and respond to the situation.

“Measures will be put in place to help us identify the exact location of the rats which will allow us to lay more bait in targeted areas. It is vital that we are very careful where we lay bait so as not to harm other wildlife such as mice and voles.

“Any rats are likely to be living in the wooded areas and will enter gardens in search of food. We therefore advise residents to consider removing any potential food sources that will attract rats, such as fallen food from bird feeders. TVBC will also be issuing a leaflet to local residents in the coming weeks which will include tips on the most effective ways to deter rats.”