A new charge for pest control service will be introduced in Torbay from 1st September, in line with many other local authority areas.

Torbay Council’s Cabinet has approved plans to end the free service and bring in a new charged for service.

The decision comes as the Council needs to save millions of pounds with added pressure from COVID-19 which has had an impact on both the council’s income and spend, and the need to protect essential frontline services. Pest control services deal with rat and mice infestations.

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, said: “As is the case with many other local authorities, Torbay is under increasing financial pressure-  this was already the case before COVID-19 struck but we know that Torbay Council are forecasting an overall overspend on the revenue budget, at period 2, of £4.8m. We are therefore recommending to remove our free pest control service, which a large number of other councils have already done.

“As part of our savings for 2020/21, we are expecting SWISCo to deliver an overall budget reduction of approximately £1.3m. So it is vital that we safeguard essential free services as far as possible while generating income through those services which many other councils already charge for.”

At its meeting on Tuesday 11th August, Cabinet agreed for SWISCo Ltd (the new provider for a range of local services) to offer a chargeable pest control service and to provide improved pest control guidance and advice to the public via the Council website.

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