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Town 'shooting itself in foot' over pigeon problem

'People with money to spend make pretty derogatory remarks about the state of our town'

John Garvey

John Garvey

john.garvey@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886628

Pigeon

EFFORTS to promote Hungerford as a tourist and shopping destination are being neutered by the town’s feral pigeons.

That was the warning delivered to Hungerford Town Council by a member of the public who attended a meeting of its highways and transport committee on Monday last week.

Graham Brown, speaking in the public forum part of the meeting, told councillors: “It’s pretty disgusting.

“It appears we’re having a conscious effort to promote this town – but many people with money to spend make pretty derogatory remarks about the state of our town.

“We’re shooting ourselves in the foot by not getting to grips with the problem.

“I hear the Town & Manor made a concerted effort years ago and all they got was abuse from the public over killing ‘these beautiful pigeons’.”

However, in December a three-year review conducted by West Berkshire Council’s Public Protection Partnership (PPP) concluded that Hungerford’s feral pigeon problem will not be solved by any one method, but by a multi-faceted approach.

While culling with guns can reduce numbers, this must be carried out at night and has been ruled out, according to the PPP report, because of “public perception and the history of the town”.

District councillor James Cole (Con, Hungerford and Kintbury) said at the time: “There is no magic solution.”

The report stated that there was a well-established and growing feral pigeon population in the town, which posed a public health risk, particularly for those with compromised immune systems.

At the recent highways and transport committee meeting it was agreed to form a working party comprising town councillors Alistair Fyfe, John Downe and Rob Chicken – plus Mr Brown, who agreed to pitch in to help.

The working party is tasked with collating the information on the history of the pigeon problem and the various methods of pest control and compiling a report to present to full council at its April meeting.

The report will include costs, solutions and recommendations.

The full council will then make a decision on the best way forward.

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