Rubbish encouraging gulls

Reducing access to commercial rubbish and food waste could help to cut down on problems with seagulls in and around Montrose High Street, community councillors have said.

At their meeting last Thursday, members of Montrose Community Council resolved to clarify Angus Council’s policy on bin provision and rubbish collection for businesses after seeing photographs of the mess created by gulls.

Acting chairman Tommy Stewart circulated photos taken recently showing bins belonging to food businesses, full to capacity and overflowing with rubbish bags which had been pecked open by gulls.

As a result rubbish was strewn across the pavement which, members said, creates a negative impression for visitors approaching the High Street from the train station.

Member Sandy Munro pointed out that the bins allocated to the businesses were domestic size which, he said, is “just plain wrong”. Referring to a planning application for another takeaway and restaurant business in the area, he said the problem could get worse.

He said: “I feel that for a town centre, where there’s a dense population, these bins aren’t appropriate. Places don’t have storage premises for rubbish and the bins are permanently parked on the pavement. Can’t something be done to force them to take their rubbish away and dispose of it?”

Councillor David May agreed that to use domestic bins for businesses seemed “inappropriate” and fellow councillor Bill Duff said he would pursue the matter with the council. He also reminded members that the authority operates a gull nest and egg removal service during breeding season.

He said: “At this time of year we can’t do much but if people want nests or eggs removed, they can call the Access Office and the council will do it for them if they’re a private individual. If they’re a business, they might do it for them if it’s affecting lots of private individuals but generally businesses are expected to deal with it themselves.

“The common sense advice at the moment is don’t feed them, and if you’re putting out rubbish make sure you do it securely.”