In an attempt to cut costs, the City of Lincoln Council is proposing to scrap its pest control service, after expected losses of up to £16,000 this year.
The City Council has to make cuts following announced public spending reductions from central government, and the loss-making service could be the first to go.
A report of the proposal will have to get the approval of the council’s Executive Committee at a meeting on November 22 at the City Hall.
The service delivers pest control treatments to residential customers within the city and does not treat public open spaces or commercial properties.
A council report says that demand for its pest control service was almost 75% down on previous years (842 vermin treatments in 08/09 and 218 in 09/10).
The authority did not take large incomes from the service either. Actual income for 09/10 was £4,523, around half of the projected income.
The predicted loss this year for the service is expected to be around £16,000.
If the service is discontinued, it is believed that the council’s Environmental Protection team will have to take on board the additional pressure.
However, the report claims that the Environmental Protection team does not have the capacity to absorb additional work from the pest control service.
By law, the council has a duty to deal with issues of vermin, whether or not it operates its own pest control service.
In 2009, the City Council tried to reform the pest control service, introducing a £40 fee, and a 50% reduction for those on benefits.
Scrapping the service would mean that those on benefits won’t have access to a pest control service at a lower concessionary rate.
If the City of Lincoln Council Executive Committee agrees to scrap the pest control service, it is yet to be decided when it will actually be discontinued.