Sat, 30 Jan 2021
Feral pigeons continue to run rings round efforts to deter them from using Hungerford town centre as a toilet.
And one town councillor branded a particular High Street store "an appalling sight" after the owner reportedly challenged the council to pay for pigeon proofing and improving his shop front out of public funds.
But there has been some progress, Hungerford Town Council's environment and planning committee heard on Monday night.
Councillor John Downe told the online meeting that pigeon prevention measures had been put in place beneath the railway bridge in the High Street.
He said: "That's good news. But I had a good look at it again today and there are things that need attention, still, from Network Rail."
Mr Downe said spikes were missing from some places, allowing access and resulting in "a whole land of lovely pigeon poo on the pavement".
He added: "I suggest we write to [Network Rail] to thank them for their attention to the bridge and ask if they wouldn't mind finishing off the job."
Meanwhile, MG Dods electrical goods shop on the High Street remained a favourite perch, the meeting heard.
Committee chairman Rob Chicken reported: "[The owner] is happy to have spikes installed – if Hungerford Town Council pays for them.
"There's a lot of mess there... should we discuss that? Maybe he can't afford it."
Mr Downe said: "It's an appalling sight, the whole front of that pebble dash building.
"It seems the man isn't that bothered by it.
"Environmental health had a go but there wasn't much they could do about it.
"I take exception to having to start doing building maintenance on private property."
Mr Chicken responded: "We've come to a full stop with this.
"His suggestion is we pay for it ourselves.
"If we're that desperate to solve the problem maybe we should.
"That shop is particularly downmarket compared to other shops in the town."
Deputy mayor Keith Knight agreed, saying: "Anything's better than doing nothing."
But councillor Richard Hudson said: "We're facilitators; it's not for us to spend public money on it."
In the end the committee decided to engage with a pigeon protection project which had offered advice, before taking more draconian measures.