Over the summer, Conservative MP Douglas Ross was inundated with calls and emails from constituents and businesses regarding the ongoing nuisance and dangers caused by gulls here in Moray. Douglas contacted both Moray Council and the Scottish Government on this issue, seeking support to tackle this problem and he also contacted other local authorities nationwide to establish if there were any areas adopting best practice in dealing with this matter.
Douglas said: “Having been inundated this summer again by calls and emails from local residents and businesses to do something to tackle the ongoing gull menace, I wrote in July to Moray Council and the Scottish Government asking for more action to be taken in dealing with this issue and also seeking support to address the problem. In particular I was aware of an initiative in an English coastal town where they introduced a bye-law making it an offence to feed gulls.
“Moray Council responded advising me of the pilot schemes they have up and running in which trained pest controllers, under licence, remove nests and eggs from buildings. They also advised that they were undertaking further work to see what else could be done, but they had no plans to introduce any bye-law to make it an offence to feed gulls.
“Disappointingly, the Scottish Government did not respond until now and advised that they have no plans to take further action or provide further support, citing the fact that the matter is one for local authorities to address or where the nests are on private property, the property owner.
“I think the majority of people here in Moray agree these gulls are a menace and cause annoyance, mess and are also dangerous. This is a continuing problem, which needs to be tackled head on, at a national level and in partnership with others. Just washing your hands of the problem and pushing the responsibility onto others, as the Scottish Government seem to be doing, is not the answer.”
Conservative Group Leader on Moray Council, Tim Eagle said:
“I am really disappointed to hear that the Scottish Government are not interested in working with communities on what is a very significant issue.
This is not a few gulls causing a bit of a mess but an endemic issue across multiple communities causing significant problems. Yet again the Scottish Government have washed their hands of a genuine issue affecting the North of Scotland where there was a clear opportunity for communities and local & national government coming together to find solutions.
Sadly it echoes so many other cases where local government and local people are ignored by the SNP as we seek to address key community concerns.
I thank all those who have contacted me about this issue across Moray and please be reassured that I will continue to fight for the fullest range of options to be provided by Moray Council before next year."