Pigeons face tough time in Royston

PUBLISHED: 17:10 17 April 2012

Pigeons resting on the roof of St John the Baptist in the town

Pigeons resting on the roof of St John the Baptist in the town

Archant

PIGEONS in Royston may be in for a tough time with a councillor this week suggesting poisoning “the blighters”.

The remark came as Royston Town Council discussed the town’s birds with Cllr Phillip Mayne making the comment after asking for a consultation to be launched to see if people want rid of them.

He said: “It seems one of the first things for us to do is to decide if we don’t want pigeons because some people think pigeons are a nuisance and some people do want pigeons.

“We do need to make the decision that as a council we want to get rid of them.”

He then went on to say he didn’t want to come over all “Tom Lehrer” – who famously penned the song Poisoning Pigeons in The Park – and said “we can just poison the blighters then as soon as we decide we don’t want them.

“The problem is some people love the blighters,” he added.

The authority’s General Purpose and Highways Committee were looking into the issue after Cllr Peter Burt had been approached by several residents annoyed with pigeons and their mess.

To better inform members Cllr Burt requested two officers from NHDC to give a talk on the problem.

The problem came to light while senior waste manager Daniel Kingsley was addressing the committee that due to the hosepipe ban officers cannot use pressure washers or hosepipes to clean up mess unless it was causing a “health and safety hazard”.

Options put forward were acquiring a bird of prey to hunt the pigeons, feeding them contraceptives or banning the feeding of pigeons in public which Cllr Burt admitted “is controversial”.

Council chairman Mike Harrison put forward a successful motion to investigate the costing of a dove cot which would contain the pigeons.

They would be given plenty of food and a place to roost with any eggs laid replaced with ceramic fakes to keep numbers down.

Cllr Lindsay Davidson was less than impressed with the discussion questioning if the town council could make an impact.

“I have to say we are on a fool’s errand that we as a town council think we can sort out the pigeon problem in Royston,” she said.

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