Council gull and litter action ‘failing badly’

Bath and North East Somerset Council has been accused of ‘failing badly’ in its attempts to tackle Bath’s litter and gull problems.

Conservative councillors have said the Liberal Democrat-run Council is not taking enough action to prevent litter being strewn across streets in the city centre.

Conservatives have called on the Council to take a tougher stance against businesses who leave their commercial waste on city centre streets for long periods of time and encourage them to use gull-proof containers rather than thin plastic sacks.

Conservative shadow spokesman for Neighbourhoods, Cllr Geoff Ward, has warned that the increasing problems with litter and food waste on Bath’s street could cause a public health hazard and is urging the Council to take immediate action.

The warnings also come on top of recent criticism of the Council for reducing the number of litter bins in the city centre.

Cllr Geoff Ward, who is an Environment Health practitioner by profession, (Cons, Bathavon North) said:

“B&NES must be living in a parallel universal if it thinks Bath’s gull and litter problem is getting better. The action the Council says its taking is clearly failing badly. You only have to walk around the centre, especially in the early mornings or evenings, to see the terrible state of some of the streets, with food waste and litter strewn everywhere. There is a real risk this could become a public health hazard if more isn’t done.

“The Council is allowing businesses to pile up their waste bags on the street, which gulls immediately begin to peck at and break open. The Council’s own study shows that the gull population is still going up, albeit at a slower rate.

“This is no way for a world-renowned historic World Heritage city to be. It’s time for the Lib Dems to stop paying lip service to this issue and for the Council to take real action. There can be no more stop-start measures, we need a concerted campaign to properly tackle this issue, with preventative measures as well as remedial action.

“As a start, B&NES needs to work with businesses so that they no longer pile up flimsy plastic bags for gulls to tear apart, and put significant resources into enforcement against those who breach the rules.

“We might then start to see some progress on this, but it’s going to be much harder given the massive cuts B&NES made to its Public Protection budget this year.”