imagesA CITY centre bar has called for a nearby rat infestation to be tackled urgently.

Staff at the Malt Cross in St James’s Street first reported sighting a rat near a derelict building in Newcastle Chambers to Nottingham City Council three weeks ago.

ut they say a lack of action in the meantime has resulted in the vermin breeding and spreading into a second derelict building next door.

Both properties back on to the rear of the Malt Cross, where staff have resorted to putting down rat poison in the alleyway in between to try to combat the problem.

Jo Cox-Brown, business and project manager of the Malt Cross Trust, which runs the bar, said despite two visits by council workers and pest controllers nothing has yet been done to tackle the issue.

She said: “We spotted a rat at the vacant buildings three weeks ago and reported it to the council. Nothing has been done and the rats have now created a whole nest and have broken into both empty buildings.

“They have chewed their way through the air bricks and grates near our bins. I’m really worried they are going to break into my building or another one in St James’s Street.”

Miss Cox-Brown first reported the issue to the city council on September 19. She then emailed the council’s estates team on September 25.

She said council staff came out on Tuesday but said they couldn’t lay traps until they knew which council department was responsible for paying for the work.

Similarly, pest controllers have also refused to lay traps until they know who is paying for the work said Miss Cox-Brown, who added: “We are a venue that is kept spotless and has a five-star health and safety rating.

“All businesses around here work so hard to comply with environmental health, so this situation feels really unfair.”

She said: “We’ve had sightings every day. It’s causing a real trauma to us. I would like the council to come and kill the rats and repair the damage before it gets any worse.”

A Nottingham City Council spokesman said: “We are really sorry for the delay in dealing with this issue, which has been due to difficulties in getting the contractors we usually work with to respond as quickly as they normally would and as we usually require. They will be dealing with this situation by Monday at the very latest.”

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