Councillors seek way to protect public from gulls

OVER the last few months the Montrose Review has been reflecting the major concerns that our readers have over the menace of seagulls, particularly when they are protecting chicks.

Angus Council is taking the problem seriously and the matter will be on the agenda of tomorrow’s (Thursday’s), full meeting.

At the meeting Montrose councillor Mark Salmond will be proposing the following motion: “That this council agrees that the chief executive bring a report outlining the current Angus Council policy.

“What actions we take at present, what actions we could take under current legislation and what new measures we could introduce to improve the management of the issues arising from the significant seagull population in Angus.

“The report to be submitted as soon as possible but preferably to Angus Council on December 15, 2011.”

Another Montrose councillor, David May, will be supporting the motion.

He told us: “I will be backing the motion by Councillor Salmond on seagulls at the full council this week as there is a need to identify what more the council can do to try, within the current legislation, to reduce the seagull menace in Montrose and in Angus as a whole.

“Like other councillors I have had complaints about the seagull menace in Montrose and despite the fact that the Angus Alliance introduced a new policy of free service to remove gull nests and eggs it will take some time before we can reverse the increase in the gull menace that has occurred in previous years.

“Consequently, I hope that all councillors will back the motion by Councillor Salmond so that our chief executive can examine a number of options to help deal with the problem — including identifying what other measures we can adopt against the nuisance which will include the possibility of extending the scheme to smaller commercial properties.

“I also expect that consideration will be given as to what our council can do within current legislation to stop people feeding the gulls in public places as despite the extra signage we have in Montrose this is still being done.”

Councillor May concluded: “Litter is also a problem and there is also a need to review our town centre litter bin collections, especially during the peak summer season.”

Over the summer the Review highlighted some of the aggravation suffered by local people, from individuals and dogs being swooped upon and intimidated, to one instance where gulls were breaking up and apparently eating felt on a roof.

Through the kind co-operation of readers we were able to climb to high places where we could witness hundreds of gulls nesting in undisturbed comfort on roofs of old warehouses, often protected by their contours from the worst of the weather.

We discovered some local organisations which take steps to free their premises of gulls, and many more which do not.

But the common thread out of all our investigations was that only 10 or even five years ago, the difficulties with gulls were nothing like we are now suffering.

Many people told us that the problem is out of control, and they believe that only drastic measures will make the streets safe again.