Conservative councillors in Bath and North East Somerset have called for a West of England-wide ‘gull conference’ to take place to work out how to tackle one of the region’s most notorious pests.
Conservatives are calling upon Bath and North East Somerset Council to work with its neighbouring authorities to organise the event, which would bring together experts in the field, as well as representatives from Government, the local tourist industry, businesses and residents groups to agree upon an action plan to address the region’s gull problems.
The calls come amid mounting concern in Bath over the amount of waste and litter strewn across many of the city’s streets as a result of scavenging gulls. Conservative councillors have uncovered figures which show that the Council’s cleansing staff are spending an average of 70 hours each week clearing the streets of scavenged waste, a situation described as ‘untenable’ by Conservatives.
However, Conservatives have said the problem is not just confined to Bath but also affects many other parts of the area and so a West of England-wide solution is needed.
Conservative shadow Neighbourhoods spokesman, Cllr Geoff Ward, has backed calls for the gull conference after being contacted about the issue by local residents.
Cllr Geoff Ward supported the idea of the conference at a meeting of the Council’s Planning, Transport and Environment scrutiny committee this Tuesday, 16th July. Following the meeting, he said:
“I think the idea of holding a ‘gull conference’ is an excellent one and is something which Conservative councillors give our full backing to.
“The problems associated with gulls affect many places throughout Bath and North East Somerset and the former Avon area more widely, so a West of England-wide solution has to be the way forward. We’re therefore urging B&NES to take up this idea and, if possible, to organise the conference with our neighbouring councils to get a cross-border solution.
“By bringing together these different organisations and expertise, hopefully we could finally agree upon a concerted action plan to tackle the area’s gull menace. It wouldn’t solve the problem over night, but at least we would have a proper strategy, which would be a start.”
Bath councillor and Conservative Deputy Leader Patrick Anketell-Jones (Cons, Lansdown), added:
“The fact is gulls are seen as a real menace and have even been known to attack people.
“Despite the Council’s best attempts, Bath’s gull and litter problems simply aren’t getting any better. Residents and visitors still have to witness gulls scavenging through waste bags left on the city’s streets on a regular basis, as well as contend with all the bird mess on the pavements and street furniture. The fact our street cleaning staff spend so long having to clear away scavenged waste is untenable. This is no way for a World Heritage city to be.”