Lib Dem and Independent councillors block funding to tackle gull menace

A proposal to earmark £104,000 to fund measures to tackle the gull menace in and around Bath has been blocked by Liberal Democrat and Independent councillors.

Conservative councillors had called for the funding to be added to the Council’s budget to trial a two-year intensive package of existing and innovative anti-gull measures. The measures had been recommended by the Council’s Planning, Transport and Environment scrutiny panel, following a wide-ranging Urban Gulls Inquiry Day.

However, during the authority’s budget debate on Tuesday, 18th February, the Council’s Independent Group joined with the ruling Liberal Democrats to vote down the proposal.

Conservative Deputy Leader Cllr Patrick Anketell-Jones (Cons, Lansdown), who presented the proposal to Council, said:

“Residents are continually telling us they want to see more concerted action taken to tackle the urban gull menace, and this is what we wanted to do. So it’s deeply disappointing that our proposal to step up the fight was blocked by both the Lib Dems and Bath’s independent councillors.”

Bath city centre councillor Brian Webber (Cons, Abbey), who seconded the amendment at the Council meeting, added:

“The gull population is still rising and we should be doing more to get on top of the problem. It is extraordinary that the Independent Group called for greater provision of gull proof sacks and stricter enforcement of the waste disposal rules, but refused to back more funding for that to be done.”