FINES will be issued for feeding pigeons in a town centre – and those affected by the birds have welcomed the news.
Havant Borough Council has introduced a public space protection order in the heart of Waterlooville, because pigeons ‘are causing significant problems for shoppers, businesses and residents of flats’ in the precinct.
As of Monday, it will be an offence to feed pigeons in the town centre, and doing so could result in a fine of £80.
The council said pigeons that are awaiting food have been roosting on residential balconies, despite preventative measures such as netting, sound boxes, spikes and decoy birds of prey being introduced.
Councillor Tony Briggs, deputy leader of the council, said: ‘The problem of pigeons is of real concern to the residents of flats and it’s not fair that people have to live like this.
‘By preventing individuals from feeding them, we hope we will reduce their numbers and the associated impact on businesses and residents.
‘Our officers have spoken to a number of individuals feeding pigeons, asking them to stop, and explaining the associated impact.
‘Signage in the area and a wider media campaign has been rolled out.
‘Despite these efforts individuals continue to regularly feed pigeons, leaving us no other option but to follow the protection order route’.
The council said businesses and cafés frequently have to clear pigeons’ mess off tables and chairs, and that some residents are unable to open their windows and use their balconies.
Nassa Sharan, who owns Cafe Havana in the town centre, said of the fines being brought in: ‘This is excellent news. I’ve got spikes on my building because there are lots of pigeons about, because people are feeding them and they need to stop.
‘The colourful signs the council put up aren’t good, you can’t even see them, we don’t want fancy signs we want prominent ones.’
But Shirley Hayler, who visits the precinct three times a week, said: ‘The pigeons don’t bother me.
‘There’s an old man who feeds them regularly and a woman told him off once, he told her the pigeons were just having their breakfast like everyone else!
‘I think it’s wrong to fine people £80 just for feeding animals. They have to eat.’