A COUNCIL is working to combat a rat problem 'as quickly as possible' after community leaders complained about the state of the area.

Test Valley Borough Council has said that it understands Valley Park residents' concerns about the issue, after complaints were made to Baddesley councillor Alan Dowden.

According to cllr Dowden, residents aren't happy with the cleanliness of the area and the number of rats that are appearing.

He said it was a problem that needed a joint response between Test Valley Borough Council and Eastleigh Borough Council among other organisations.

He said: "I have spoken to many council officers on both sides in an attempt to sort this problem out.

"Many residents have said to me that nothing seems to be getting done.

"I believe rats have been in homes and other areas near to children. It is not safe and something needs to be moved on to tackle this problem."

Test Valley said that pest control officers have been baiting the areas, with cllr Dowden saying that Hiltingbury was an area that had been reported to him as a main issue.

The authority said: "We are aware that residents are understandably concerned about the problem of rats in the Valley Park area and we are working to get the issue under control as quickly as possible.

"Though there is not a quick-fix solution, the most effective course of action is to identify and deal with the nesting hotspots and the underlying causes for being there.

"Pest Control Officers have been baiting these areas with tamper-resistant bait boxes and this work is ongoing."

Eastleigh Borough Council did not say what measures were being undertaken in the borough to tackle the problem, but that most of the Valley Park area fell under the jurisdiction of Test Valley Borough Council.