GLASGOW hasn’t counted rats in the city for 12 years, a Drumchapel councillor has discovered.

As more residents have complained about the problem in north-west Glasgow and Councillor Elspeth Kerr said the city was “over-run”, Councillor Paul Carey asked when the local authority last did sewer checks and any indication of the number of rats.

But environmental health officials said sewer baiting was stopped more than 12 years ago “on grounds of cost”.

They stated: “I believe that no systematic sewer-baiting has been carried out since that time. Other aspects of the environmental health pest control service were, subsequently, reduced very significantly around 2008 – on grounds of cost-saving.”

Cllr Carey told the Post: “If they stopped baiting 12 years ago, then they have not got a clue how many rats are in the city.

“Is the problem getting worse in the last 12 years? Yes. Do we wait until there is a real healthy and safety issue? Do we know if any other local authorities baits, and if not, why not?

“Baiting keeps the rats under control and to give us an idea of how many rats there are.

"I was shocked to find out that this practice has stopped.”

A council spokeswoman said: “The council operates a pest control service for rats, responding to calls from the public looking for assistance.

“In addition, the council is currently rolling out the bin replacement programme – replacing 50L steel bins with 240L wheelie bins – which will help to keep back courts cleaner, reduce the food waste available for rats and in the long-term stifle the rat population.”