Conservative councillors in Bath and North East Somerset have called for a West of England-wide ‘gull conference’ to take place to work out how to tackle one of the region’s most notorious pests.
They want Bath and North East Somerset Council to work with its neighbouring authorities to organise the event, which would bring together experts in the field, as well as representatives from Government, the local tourist industry, businesses and residents groups to agree upon an action plan to address the region’s gull problems.
The calls come amid mounting concern in Bath over the amount of waste and litter strewn across many of the city’s streets as a result of scavenging gulls. Conservative councillors have uncovered figures which show that the Council’s cleansing staff are spending an average of 70 hours each week clearing the streets of scavenged waste, a situation they described as ‘untenable.’
Meanwhile B&NES has admitted that their efforts to rid the city of seagulls has had little impact on numbers. That’s despite spending thousands on flying birds of prey and coating eggs with oil. They were also considering cutting the frequency of gull population surveys to reduce costs.
The authority intends to continue with its egg replacement scheme in which real eggs are swapped for plastic ones to fool the birds and also stopping businesses and householders putting their waste out for collection too early. They would also be extending the trial of gull-proof re-usable bags.
VMB Director’s Note:
On a personal level – though l probably speak for much of Bath – why won’t the Council get its act together on this one. Don’t ‘trial’ gull-proof bags. They work. I lived in Totnes in Devon where everybody has one! That should be the case here.
Get them sponsored or make us pay – just get them out there. Also let’s be serious about wheelie-bin ‘stations’ in and around the city to keep rubbish under cover. They can be cleverly designed to blend in. They would look better than rubbish all over the streets.
We live by tourism. Word of our gull-infested, filthy so-called-World-Heritage-city will be spreading like wildfire.
Let’s get our collection services organised. Rubbish should not stay on the streets. London works around the clock – why is Bath not doing the same. Spend money where it is really needed.