A Shopmobility service in Harlow, which rents mobility equipment to local residents, is likely to remain closed for several weeks as pest-controllers work to clear the building of a rat infestation.
Rodents have chewed through cables in spite of around £2,000 already being spend on “repair and prevention measures”.
The service is now looking for a temporary space to operate from but it refused Harlow Council’s offer of a town centre location as it needs to be close to where it stores its equipment.
When quizzed about how the authority would help the Shopmobility resolve its problem, council leader Emma Toal said that the council is “actively working with Shopmobility to solve the recent rodent problem”.
“Urgent work is currently underway to secure and decontaminate the property. Additionally, the council is assisting Shopmobility to find temporary town centre office space.”
But there are concerns that if the service remains closed for more weeks, as predicted, then people who rely on Shopmobility for equipment will be left immobile and will lose their independence.
It is estimated that more than 100 people use the service every week and it is constrained by its reliance on financial and charitable support.