Plea to council to deal with seagull problem

Residents fed up with aggresive seagulls are angry that East Dunbartonshire doesn’t offer a service to get rid of them when other councils do.

West Dunbartonshire Council started a programme of egg replacement and nest removal at their two main council offices and on Dumbarton High Street in 2009.

Since then they have seen a noticeable reduction in the aggressive behaviour of adult gulls in these areas.

As a result of this success, they extended this work and now arrange egg and nest removal for domestic properties, with bird proofing measures installed where possible.

The maximum cost for the seagull service for a single household through the council is £50.

However, East Dunbartonshire Council have washed their hands of the problem, saying that they have “no statutory duty” to deal with the birds and residents should contact a private contractor if they want them removed from their property.

But Herald reader Kirsty Hutton pointed out that the council seems to be providing them with a perfect home because there are nests on their council office roofs at the marina.

Another Herald reader added: “Life for residents is unbearable, and according to current law they cannot retaliate or cull these huge birds whose numbers are increasing year on year.

“Each house would be looking at a bill in excess of £300 to get spikes put on the roof to hopefully prevent nesting plus the cost of scaffolding.

“Other councils in Scotland are pro-active on this issue. Seagulls will return to the same area, so even if I do manage to get a contractor to do the work on my house, the birds will still come back to other houses in the same area.”

Community protection manager Evonne Bauer said: “Councils across Scotland approach this seasonal issue differently. West Dunbartonshire Council, perhaps because they are near the coastline, invest significantly in reducing gull numbers, passing some of that cost to householders.

“We understand that gulls can cause noise and act protectively around their young but presently, in common with many other councils, we are not in a position to offer a service to control them.”

She added: “The gulls will soon move on, as the chicks leave the nest, but anyone who has problems with them nesting can employ suitably qualified contractors, contact Scottish Natural Heritage on 01463 725000.”