Expert ‘poo-poos’ idea that Horncastle has a pigeon problem - but town councillor still wants action

A town councillor has been left ‘spitting feathers’ - after an expert revealed the town does NOT have a pigeon problem.
Pigeons on the Post Office roof.Pigeons on the Post Office roof.
Pigeons on the Post Office roof.

Councillors have been debating the issue for decades amid complaints pigeons - and their poo - present a health hazard.

Town councillor Richard Barker thought he’d come up with the perfect solution when he asked colleagues to support a ‘humane’ cage system.

It involved setting up cages at recognised roosting points and transporting the pigeons 25 miles before releasing them.

His idea would have cost an initial £8,000 - rising to as much £14,000.

Councillors were not convinced after hearing there was no guarantee of success.

They were also told that as pigeons can fly as far as 500 miles a day, releasing them 25 miles would simply see them return to their roosts on Horncastle’s roof tops.

Some ‘feathers were also ruffled’ that Coun Barker had gone ahead and obtained the quote from an ‘expert’ - without seeking the approval of councillors.

Instead, the meeting backed Coun Matthew Wilkinson’s idea of bringing in another expert who he’d previously worked with to decide whether the town ‘did have a problem.’

As a result, Coun Barker joined Coun Wilkinson and the expert from a company called ‘Pestex’ on a town walkabout.

And the verdict? There isn’t a problem.

Coun Barker, though, is refusing to let the matter rest.

He said: “When I raised the issue, it was due to my own observations through the year and various individuals and shop owners expressing their concerns.

“I spoke to the (town) clerk who said a quote was received from one company, in 2018.

“The clerk asked if I would take on the obtaining further quotations which as you know I acted on and my findings were reported to the clerk and referred to the council meeting.

“Since then, I attended the walkabout and have to say there was hardly a pigeon in sight.

“However, this does not reflect the many weeks when the story is totally different.

“There are hot spots causing pigeon poo at street level. It is unsightly and dangerous and a potential health hazard.

“However, I accept the findings of the walkabout based on what we saw.

“We do, however, need to write to building owners with our suggestions as to what we would expect them to to do.

“Finding ownership may cause difficulty which needs to be addressed.

“And, just because we saw only a few pigeons, it doesn’t mean the problem is solved.

“Only time will tell.”

At last month’s meeting, Coun Alan Lockwood suggested the town council should threaten legal action against owners who failed to comply.

However, he was told the council had no power to enforce that suggestion.

Councillors are expected to debate the matter at their meeting in July but it is understood they are unlikely to commit taxpayers’ money to any scheme.

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