£7,500 to kill off seagulls

PUBLISHED: 11:06 28 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:36 17 June 2010

A joint bid to combat the menace of seagulls in Sidmouth by removing nests and eggs has been mooted.

A joint bid to combat the menace of seagulls in Sidmouth by removing nests and eggs has been mooted.The idea is part of an EDDC plan following numerous complaints about the birds.EDDC's executive is being asked to support the project, which would also be implemented in other towns, at a total cost of £80-90,000. A report before the executive, which meets on April 30, will recommend that, as it has no statutory responsibility for pest control, costs be split with town councils. The report stated: "Anecdotally at least, these birds are a popular feature of our towns. However, we feel a need to respond to the concerns of residents who are suffering as a result of their presence in ever increasing numbers."This is not a seagull cull, rather it is suggesting steps to prevent further growth of the problem."The report said control of the gull population in Sidmouth was difficult because the birds nested in hard to reach places such as behind parapets and in gutters.It said the best way to tackle them was using contractors in a cherry picker to reach into nests and remove eggs.The proposed scheme would see two workers visit a list of prominent sites every six weeks during the breeding period and, with the building owner's permission, remove the eggs.This would cost £7,539. If a cherry picker was not used, the workers would have to visit every three weeks, but would cost £3,352.However, town council chairman Tom Cox said he had been told by experts this was not the best way to solve the problem. He said, in his personal view: "It does not sound like a sensible way to me. We were told such a simplistic way to deal with the gulls would not work."He said the town council was under pressure to watch its budget, and spending local money on national problems was not the best use of the precept.


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