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PEOPLE who feed seagulls will be fined.
Lewes District Council is taking the hardline approach in a bid to tackle the problem posed by aggressive gulls.
The local authority has said it will impose Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) in areas where seagulls have become a problem.
PSPOs are usually used in areas where there is an anti social behaviour problem.
In recent months they have been used to stop travellers entering parks and to rid areas of street drinkers.
In this instance, the PSPOs can be used to fine anyone who feeds seagulls persistently.
Councillor Liz Boorman, for Seaford west ward, backed the move and said she is concerned about seagull attacks in her area.
She said: “There are local reports of gulls attacking people in their gardens and postal staff being dive-bombed as they innocently walk down garden paths to deliver the mail.
“I don’t blame the seagulls, I blame people who feed these birds.
“The gulls aren’t stupid, they will nest where food is easiest and some residents are putting it on a plate for them.”
The issue was raised by Cllr Boorman during a cabinet meeting last week and was welcomed by the leader of Lewes District Council, Cllr Andy Smith.
Cllr Smith said: “Seagulls should live in coastal locations but human behaviour has drawn them further and further inland.
“There is not one solution to the problem but if people stop habitually feeding them, it will certainly help.
“We have introduced PSPOs to tackle anti-social behaviour and I am in full support of considering the use of these powers if we receive a mounting number of complaints.”
Councils have grappled with ways to tackle problems posed by seagulls for many years.
In 2015 David Cameron waded into the debate when he called for a “big conversation” about the issue.
The then prime minister suggested a seagull cull as the answer.
He said: “Whether there is a need for a cull, what should be done about eggs and nests?
“I think a big conversation needs to happen about this and frankly the people we need to listen to are people who really understand this issue. But we do have a problem.”
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Source: The Argus