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Backing plea for gull action event

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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
Dumfries and West
Backing plea for gull action event

A DUMFRIES community council will this week call on MSPs to back their fight in tackling problem seagulls.

Loreburn Community Council previously called for Scottish local authorities to unite and stage a national conference focusing on how to best combat the divebombing birds.

Group chairwoman Anne Lindsay will now write to the region’s MSPs calling for their support to make this conference a reality.

With masses of seagulls expected to migrate back to the area from next month onwards, more attacks on children, pets, residents and visitors are anticipated.

Mrs Lindsay said: “In the past the seagulls issue has all blown up – and then nothing has been done. But we’re determined to keep pushing on for action.

“We’re planning to make some appointments next week to talk to all of our MSPs.

“This must be tackled nationally because it’s not just happening in our area, it’s all over.”

Loreburn Community Council has been leading a gulls campaign in Dumfries and Galloway, carrying out surveys and also setting up a Facebook page dedicated to recording incidents and discussing solutions with members of the public.

Councillors called for stronger action tackling the seagulls issue at the communities committee in December.

Basic gull deterrents were agreed, such as reporting of overflowing bins and litter education campaigns.

However, additional potential actions are currently being costed, including expanding the roll-out of gull-proof bins, providing businesses with more gull-proof sacks, fitting roof spikes, wires and nets, egg and nest removal, and egg oiling.

Laura Howieson, the council’s gull control officer, recently wrote to community councils asking for feedback on these control measures under consideration.

She wrote: “I would be grateful for your views on how effective they are likely to be in your locality and if there would be any appetite for the community council to assist residents with costs or to apply for external funding.

“Please also advise if it would seem reasonable for your residents to fund these themselves.

“I would be happy to work with you and your ward officer to understand the gull control measures that will be most achievable and effective within your community so that we can plan ahead and prioritise.”

The gulls problem is due to be discussed in detail again at the next communities committee on February 9, where a report will have details on the full cost and implications of stronger actions such as fitting roof spikes and egg and nest removal.

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