Potholes, pesky birds and homeless people.

[I have never seen so many gulls enjoying a thermal over the city!]

What do they say about all good things come in threes? Something about if a fortunate event has already occurred twice – a third fortunate event is likely to occur!

Unfortunately, for the new B&NES Lib-Dem administration, the rule of three occurs in a more negative way. For me three major problems face them as they settle into office.

The first concerns the state of the city and district roads.

In Bath we have holes and worrying depressions in the rather battered tarmac surface – and in the district (as in the suburbs) many highways and byways are pock-marked with potholes.

The second has much to do with our growing habit of providing outdoor eating facilities in the city and the continuing issue of takeaway half-eaten food cartons littering our streets.

Homo sapiens are not the cleanest of animals and are currently still basking in the warm glow of being members of a throw-away society.

I am a bird lover, and often marvel at the obvious joy a flock of gulls must feel as they ride a thermal higher and higher over the city. Is it too late for me to take up gliding?

However, coming back to earth with a bump, l am well aware of what living with gulls means for Bathonians and their visitors.

Bird poo – often delivered from on high – litters our streets, and occasionally, arrives as a direct hit on the shoulders or hair of a human passing by beneath.

Chips or bacon butties sometimes deftly snatched from the fingers of a hungry diner.

Meanwhile, the bird’s white splatterings produce ever changing patterns on street paving stones and benches.

I know the council and Bath BID do their best to clean up the mess but, there’s always a repeat performance.

I know the city is not alone in its sufferings – though we tend to be terribly Bath-centric about every environmental and social problem we face – but something needs to be done.

Maybe the-powers-that-be should organise a Gull Conference and swop ideas with other authorities similarly blighted. Bring in the University of Bath on this one?

The third issue is a more human problem – though it still involves our city streets, church porches and shop doorways.

Why is the problem of the homeless a continuing tragedy?

Again, is there no way that – locally or nationally – this ever-present reminder of some of the negative things life can serve up cannot be tackled in a positive way?

Just my view of course, but what do others think?


  1. Re Litter on our streets…walking past Waitrose main entrance the other evening…the area where they place seating was a disgusting sight in terms of litter!!!!

    Surely this is something that Waitrose could and should take responsibility?

    It is, after all, right on their doorstep and seems to be a direct result of the seating they provide for their customers to enjoy purchases and free coffees from within their store!

    Perhaps a large bin outside might help solve the problem???

    I’d be happy to take and send through a photo if you’d like evidence!

    1. Potholes, pesky birds and homeless people are all problems in Bath for sure but let’s not be parochial about this – as you know, in each case the source of the problem and/or the inability to solve it flows from decisions taken at the national level by government and Parliament. Spending cuts for local authorities since 2010 explain the pothole and homeless problems, and culling the gulls is illegal due to the Countryside Act, 1981.

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