A number of residents have come forward to express their concerns about seagulls and offer their own solutions after the council said it was ‘open to ideas that may solve particular issues’.
In last week’s Eastbourne Herald, we told the story of how Nigel Hewett had been attacked 12 times in eight years by the birds and was demanding action to stop residents feeding the gulls.
Eastbourne Borough Council and Eastbourne Homes released a joint statement that said, “The legal measures available to a social landlord are limited and there are no local bye-laws restricting the feeding of any birds.
“We are open to ideas that may solve particular issues. Of course, these must be legal, practical and acceptable to all people in the community.”
Since then, many residents have come forward to support Mr Hewett in his demand for action and to suggest ways of controlling the escalating problem.
Alan Steadman, of Wannock Road, referred to the Eastbourne Neighbourhood Watch News from spring 2012, which states the best way of controlling seagulls and pigeons is to limit their food supply and by ensuring any food intended for smaller, garden birds is placed in a feeder, on a bird table or under a cage with a three-inch mesh size.
Mr Steadman added, “I am not a lawyer but it certainly is within the power of the landlord to restrict any action on their property that leads to public nuisance or can endanger health.
“In a short scenario, if the people who get so much pleasure out of feeding gulls were to have their child or grandchild hit by a bus driven by a driver who was overtired because of an inability to sleep, or needed care from a surgeon or nurse kept awake by the noise created by attracting them to homes, then maybe their attitude would change.”
Ann Taylor, of Aylesbury Avenue, pitched her idea of pellets to stop the birds breeding. She said, “Last July, I’d had enough of the seagulls when I saw one attack a lovely couple and remove the food from their plate – the poor lady was terrified.
“In Italy, they give the birds pellets to stop them breeding for a year or two. They are not harmed in any way, the numbers go back to like they were years ago ( when people enjoyed them), every one is happy and peace restored.”
Mr Hewett, who lives in Tenterden Close, said the seagulls were making his life a ‘living hell’, keeping him awake all through the night, ripping two pairs of his jeans and drawing blood twice. He also mentioned they carry many diseases that could prove harmful to the many children in the area.
Anybody wishing to contact the council about seagulls should speak to Customer First, not environmental health.