Feathers fly over NLC gull solution

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North Lanarkshire Council has been accused of having ‘double standards’ after installing bird deterrent spikes at its own headquarters and not dealing with the gull problem in Cumbernauld.

MSP Jamie Hepburn has hit out at the council which was scheduled to have the device fitted at its Motherwell headquarters this week and he is calling on officials to look at installing such measures in Cumbernauld.

Residents have complained that seagulls have been responsible for damage to property, unacceptable nuisance noise levels, aggressive behaviour and even attacks on pets.

Mr Hepburn said: “I have been among those who have repeatedly called on the council to act to address this problem and those calls have been met with refusals after refusal. To learn now that the council is taking measures to tackle the gull, but only at their own headquarters will strike many as a shocking double standard. It appears the council is only prepared to admit that gulls are a problem when those effected by the animals are council officials.”

Councillor William Goldie added: “When I enquired about measures to deter seagulls from nesting in Cumbernauld South I was informed that these measures were costly and ineffective, and that these measures would only move birds on to another location This civic building is in the middle of a residential area, the logical interpretation of NLC’s response to my, previously unsuccessful request that they would be spending public money only to move the problem on to the local residents. The only other conclusion is that they are aware that these measures actually are effective but that they are not prepared to provide them for the residents of Cumbernauld South”

A council spokesman said: “The spikes being installed at the entrance to the civic centre are to prevent pigeons perching and nesting on the ledges and roof edges and causing a mess, which can cause a public health risk. This is a common approach to dealing with the problems of pigeons on buildings, but it is not effective for gulls.

‘‘This is a different problem and solution from the issue of gulls in Carbrain, which the council has corresponded with Mr Hepburn and Councillor Goldie on previously.”