Councillor calls for tougher action on gulls

A CARNOUSTIE councillor is hoping that a scheme which sees nests and eggs from seagulls removed from properties can be extended.

Brian Boyd (pictured) spoke out after a discussion on the subject of menacing seagulls at the full Angus Council meeting on Thursday.

At the meeting Montrose councillor Mark Salmond put forward a motion asking the council to explore all options open to them to try and dissolve the problem.

Currently, any Angus householders who discover gulls nesting in their properties can have the nest and any eggs removed free of charge by the local authority.

In Montrose and Arbroath, it seems an increasing number of incidents are being recorded of seagulls becoming aggressive and swooping down on people to steal food.

But Councillor Boyd believes the situation is just as bad in Carnoustie and hopes that the removal scheme could be extended to buildings used by charitable organisations.

He told the Guide & Gazette: “Seagulls are a problem for all coastal burghs in Angus and they are here in Carnoustie.

“The Reverend Matthew Bickett from Panbride Church told me about the problems the church has been having with the birds as recently they held an outdoor children’s tea party and they had to move back inside as the gulls were swooping down on them.

“Currently the removal scheme only covers residential property and I asked if there was money available to extend this to charitable organisations and churches.

“Obviously we will have to look into the costs involved but if it can be done it could then expand to cover local small businesses too.”

The motion that was put forward by Councillor Salmond was seconded by Councillor Donald Morrison and gained unanimous support from all of the Angus members.

Options that could be explored to tackle the gull problem include reinforcing the message warning people not to feed the birds and in a more extreme case a controlled cull, which could only be carried out once all other options have been explored.

It has also been suggested an east coast summit could be held where councils from Moray down to Fife could share experiences of dealing with seagulls.