Hundreds petition to end Devizes seagull menace
A petition signed by hundreds of people upset by the noise and mess caused by an ever increasing number of seagulls is to be presented to councillors on September 29.
The online petition started by Coun Laura Mayes, who represents Roundway on Wiltshire Council, will go to the Devizes Area Board when it meets at the Sports Club in London Road at 6.30pm.
Coun Mayes has called the seagulls that congregate in the area around the Garden Trading Estate a menace.
The seagull issue has become a growing problem for people in the Roundway area but the hands of the authorities are tied about how the problem can be solved as the birds are protected. Licences to control gulls can be issued by Natural England.
Coun Mayes said: “The situation is horrendous. I get disturbed by seagulls where I live. Seagulls don’t come under the responsibility of Wiltshire Council so by reporting it as an issue to the area board I want to see if we can find a community way to get round it.”
Families in White Horse Way, off London Road, are among those who want the number of birds to be cut as they say they say keep them awake and poop on their cars.
Wendy McWilliams, 54, says she has been prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping tablets because of the stress.
She said: “They are an absolute nightmare. Their squawking goes on from 8pm to 1am and they start up at 3.30am.”
Tony Whitehead, an RSPB spokesman, said: “We believe, and the law requires, lethal control should be a last resort used only where it is legal, where there is a proven problem, where non-lethal alternatives have been tried and found not to be effective and where legal, lethal control will not adversely affect the conservation status of the species.
“The RSPB recommends action by local authorities and individuals to reduce the volume of food available to gulls in urban areas, including reducing the amount of food waste sent to landfill, not putting rubbish out until the day of collection, in gull-proof containers, reducing the amount of edible litter on streets, particularly from fast food outlets and providing gull-proof litter bins.”
In other towns affected by increasing numbers of gulls, an egg and nest removal programme has been carried out, along with extra signs put up discouraging members of the public from feeding the birds.
Air ambulance spokesman Cheryl Johnson said pilots had not reported any problems.
She said: “In the past we have taken specialist advice on seagulls and other large birds and about a year ago we put in a solar powered bird scarer but most heli-pads would have these.
“Wherever we fly we have to be aware of large birds.”
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