AMMANFORD does not have a problem with rats, the local authority has again insisted.

Despite numerous reports from residents in recent months, Carmarthenshire County Council has dismissed concerns of a growing vermin epidemic saying its officers had found “no evidence” to support the claim.

“While it is good to see the county council reacting to the vermin issue in Ammanford, for them to say there is no evidence of rat activity around the town centre is unbelievable,” said Ammanford county councillor Deian Harries. “I myself have dealt with a number of complaints including one from an elderly lady forced to leave her home due to an infestation.”

Town councillors have repeatedly complained of an increase in the number of rats seen in the town and their fears have been echoed by householders, who have contacted the Guardian.

In November, the Guardian reported howa 94-year-old widow had been forced out of her house because rats were literally stealing the food off her plate.

Following publication, the Guardian was inundated with reports of similar tales.

However, the council has maintained the town does not have a problem, claiming in September it had received only one report of a rat infestation since April.

Philip Davies, the county’s head of public protection, said at the time: “There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest there is a rodent problem affecting Ammanford town.”

The claim was repeated last week in a statement from the authority’s executive board member for environmental and public protection, Cllr Jim Jones.

The statement said: “Officers have... undertaken night-time visits to the area following concerns of vermin in the town centre, but no evidence has been found to suggest any particular problems.”