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Councillor fears seagulls are coming back to Worcester
PLEAS are being made to increase the money spent on tackling seagulls in Worcester - with a city councillor saying he fears they are coming back.
Councillor Simon Cronin says his email box is already starting to fill up from residents, saying gulls are returning with a vengeance now the weather is brightening up.
The Labour politician, who led a review into the city centre, says it may be time to increase the £5,000 yearly sum spent on trying to rid them from Worcester.
It comes after the numbers of gulls spotted in the city has plunged 23 per cent in a year.
The money is spent on an outside contractor, which leaves fake plastic eggs in gull nests around Worcester.
The tactic fools the birds into thinking the eggs are real, thereby discouraging them from planting real ones inside the nest because it would get too overcrowded.
Speaking to the decision-making cabinet, he said: "I think we've all noticed and seen an uplift in activity over the last couple of weeks.
"My email box has certainly reflected that.
"The contract we've got with Red Kite (which deals with the seagulls for the council) is a bargain and there's no doubt it's certainly been delivering.
"But when we go through this review we'll have to look at whether increasing that budget is an appropriate measure to take."
The number of actual nesting pairs in the city has fallen by 100 over the last two years to just 320, the lowest figure on record.
Councillor Marc Bayliss, Tory group deputy leader, urged Labour to take the review seriously.
As your Worcester News revealed two weeks ago, it contains 19 recommendations including detailed mapping of gull hotspots and a publicity drive to encourage people to report them.
The 16-page dossier also suggests later opening hours for traders into the evening, discounted twilight parking and a thriving farmers' market, "The ambition for this piece of work was quite large," he said.
"Some of it was around very emotive issues, like seagulls, and my hope is that from the 19 recommendations the cabinet takes it very seriously and comes back with detailed answers on each of them."
The cabinet said it would be prepared to look into each suggestion carefully.
Councillor Geoff Williams, deputy leader and cabinet member for economic prosperity, said: "We welcome the report, a considerable amount of work has gone into it."
He said a report is due to published in April detailing how to take the suggestions forward.
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