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Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO's) – seagulls

Wyre Council wants your views on the proposal to introduce new offences to prevent the feeding of seagulls in the areas of Fleetwood, Thornton-Cleveleys and Knott End in order to assist with the control of the population growth.Seagull

PSPO consultation

PSPO seagulls proposed area maps

We are consulting with the general public; Police Crime Commissioner; local parish and town councils; Lancashire County Council, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Friends of Parks groups. Anyone can give their views during the consultation period which runs from Tuesday 1 August to Friday 15 September 2017. 

If you need a paper copy of the consultation, or require it in any other format please contact us with the subject ‘seagull PSPO'.

Please note: comments received may be published and attributed to the person/organisation that submitted them, however, personal addresses, personal email addresses and personal phone numbers will be removed before publishing. By submitting your comments you are agreeing to your comments and information being used in this way.

Background to PSPO’s

The council recognises that seagulls are a welcomed symbol of the British seaside, however reported problems associated with seagulls are on the increase. The council want to pursue considerate and controlled methods of dealing with the growing population through the introduction of a new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).

PSPO’s were introduced via the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 for use to regulate activities in particular public places that can have a detrimental effect on the local community. They are designed to deal with a particular nuisance or problem in a particular area (a public space) that is deemed detrimental to the local community’s quality of life, by imposing conditions on the use of that area which apply to everyone.

Purpose

Research has shown that seagulls are having larger broods than they did traditionally, probably due to the lack of predators and the advantages of food close by. Seagulls often live for between 25-30 years and this, combined with increased brood size, have caused an increase in the seagull population. The data tells us that there has been:

  • An increase in reported physical attacks on humans by seagulls in Wyre
  • Widespread social media concerns indicating that the problem is under-reported
  • Extended noise activity throughout the night and early morning
  • Seagull excrement which contains high levels of bacteria, much higher than treated human waste. This excrement may also have an impact on local bathing water quality
  • Property damage caused by gulls. From blocked gutters to damaged rooftops where insulation surrounding pipes and air conditioning systems has been severely damaged

All species of gull are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This makes it illegal to intentionally injure or kill any gull or damage or destroy an active nest or its contents. There are some situations where species may be controlled or culled but this is unlikely in a domestic seagull situation and therefore the introduction of a PSPO to prevent the excessive feeding of seagulls is seen as a proportionate response to the current situation in Wyre.

Providing food to seagulls contributes to population growth and encourages the birds to interact with humans, sometimes aggressively. By reducing the availability of food, it is hoped that the seagull population can be limited to current levels or even reduced.  Over time this would reduce the number of attacks by the birds on members of the public.

Other councils are consulting on using the powers to prevent members of the public from feeding seagulls in seaside towns where they have similar issues.

Proposed new offence

It is envisaged that the new offence will be enforced on a complaint led model, with the public identifying offenders /hot spots where the offence is taking place.

A person shall be guilty of an offence if, at any time, he/she provides or deposits food for consumption by seagulls within the designated areas such as Fleetwood, Thornton- Cleveleys and Knott End unless he/she has reasonable excuse for doing so.

As the offences would be breaches of a public space protection order, the council may issue a fixed penalty notice offering the person to whom it is issued the opportunity of discharging any liability to conviction for the offence by payment of a fixed penalty. This fixed penalty will be set at £100, in order to maximise the deterrent risk for offenders.

Next step

Once the consultation period has ended we will consider the comments made and where appropriate amend the proposals. The final orders will then be considered by cabinet before deciding the content of the new public space protection order.

Contact us

For further information or if you have any questions about the proposal please contact us

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