Man calls for ASBOs to help tackle gull problem

THERE were calls this week for Angus Council to issue anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) to crack down on people caught feeding gulls.

The idea, which has already been introduced as a deterrent by other local authorities, was put forward by a Montrose man who is experiencing problems arising from neighbours in Borrowfield feeding birds.

Although the matter has been reported to the authority’s environmental health department it has, so far, been unable to take action apart from speaking to those involved.

The man, who asked not to be named, said: “Environmental health put someone out to talk to the people and they were told it was the birds being fed and not the gulls but at one point they put out a whole loaf for them. It goes on all year.”

He added that food waste too heavy for the gulls to carry is regularly dropped in his garden and his property is covered in bird excrement. He would like to see environmental health officers getting tougher on those encouraging the gulls by feeding them.

He continued: “We’ve got grey slabs at the back of the house and we’re always having to wash them.

“It’s just not good enough and I’ve asked what the council can do but I’m told that all they can do is talk to people.

“It’s going on in other areas and I’ve people to other people with the same problem and environmental health needs someone tough to go out and deal with it.”

Gulls also cause problems in public areas, attracted by food remains, and a council spokeswoman said that while the authority does not currently issue ASBOs for feeding gulls, fines are issued to anyone caught dropping litter.

She said: “We actively discourage people from feeding the gulls and we have posters and notices on display asking them not to do so. We have not considered introducing ASBOs to deal with this behaviour

“We also remind members of the public that it is an offence to litter, and a fixed penalty notice of £50 can be issued to anyone caught dropping litter.”

The council has also now started its free egg and nest removal service for residential properties experiencing problems with nesting gulls.

The service, which started on Tuesday, is available to all householders and tenants during the gulls’ early nesting season.

Commercial premises are still expected to deal with gull nests as part of their own general maintenance programme and meet the cost involved.

Further information about the egg and nest removal service is available by contacting the authority’s Accessline on 08452 777 778.