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Solutions sought for pigeon pest problem

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By Fiona Reid
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Solutions sought for pigeon pest problem

LEGAL action is being considered against the owners of empty properties in Lockerbie which are plagued by pigeons.

Community councillors have been flagging up the bird pest problems for years and now Dumfries and Galloway Council are stepping up the pressure.

Annandale North Councillor Stephen Thompson, who is also joint convenor of the local authority, this week offered an update on what is being done.

He said: “Dumfries and Galloway’s Environmental Health Team (EH) has been working across a number of departments, including the clerk of works, the Streetscene cleansing team, the vacant and derelict land and buildings team, domestic Council Tax, business tax and legal services to try to resolve this complex issue.

“Extensive searches have been done to establish ownership and contact details for the empty office space within Tower Buildings, and EH have been liaising with the empty office owner’s contact and provided advice to help deal with the resident feral pigeons. They’ve also linked them to NatureScot to establish the legalities of dealing with feral pigeons and their young, and to obtain the necessary licences.”

Meanwhile, information has also been obtained on how best to manage the resident pigeon population within Lockerbie Town Hall. As a result, spikes were fixed to several of the ledges on the Bridge Street side of the building a couple of months ago. However, it has become apparent that the pigeons have managed to gain access to the attic space through the pigeon proofing around the recently revamped cupola. Cllr Thompson said this is being followed up.

Furthermore, last Wednesday and Thursday, council staff power-washed the Tower Building side pavement and swept up the pigeon mess on the Town Hall side of the street and hosed it off.

Cllr Thompson added: “EH and Streetscene staff have cleaned the pavements on both sides of the street and the Town Hall bins on several occasions, as and when resource permitted, since being made aware of the problem.

“EH have also made contact with the owner of the old cinema to have the property secured against access by pigeons, and to take steps to deter pigeons from roosting on the ledge above the cinema’s front doors.”

A community councillor is also helping to contact the cinema and vacant office owner to discuss possible improvements, but Cllr Thompson added: “As all informal attempts to secure a satisfactory haven’t been successful, EH will now consult with legal services around pursuing legal action.”

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