Thursday, December 08, 2011

Inverness Common Good to pay £5,000 on seagull advice

"Fury at £5K spent on gull menace guru" reports the Highland News. Interesting comment there from Councillor Kerr:
"Councillor Kerr told the Highland News after the meeting: "I do not see the point of squandering another £5,000 of Inverness people's money. This is the biggest waste of money I have come across in a long time. There has been a fortune spent on this seagull problem over the years.
"The Inverness Common Good Fund has, to my mind, been steadily abused by Highland Council.

"They have a TEC Services department which should be looking into this as a public health issue, not taking money from Inverness people to pay for a consultant." "

This observer suspects that any consultant won't really give you much more than that is already freely available on the internet.

Here on the Gurn Salty and his pals have made the headlines quite a few times. Regular readers will remember how the Highland Councils plan to raise awareness of seagulls nesting in urban areas was received. Of course in Nairn the problem has been discussed from at least 1985.

Anyway this observer suspects someone will just get 5K for telling the council what is already out there on Google. A phone call to Dumfries might have done it where the Scottish Government financed a pilot project in removing nests.

The foremost authority on seagulls in the UK is Peter Rock he's been studying them for years and on Radio 4 recently he suggested that far more research needs to be done as to why they are such successful birds. I imagine anyone you give 5,000 quid to will mention him in their report. Here's some interesting stuff from him from 2003.
Here he is quoted in an independent article: "The Bristol University research project, expected to last three years and to cost around £400,000, could begin as early as next February, with satellite tracking devices fitted to birds. The gull expert Peter Rock, who will head the research, said: "Gulls are at the high end of animal intelligence. In the past couple of decades the pest control industry has had a fair crack of the whip at offering possible solutions. The fact is they haven't worked. Either we understand what we are dealing with or we continue to spend loads of money to no effect." Full article here.

Any Gurnites wishing to seriously study gulls might wish to head to this online directory which has a remarkable amount of scientific information on gulls, some of it published recently. Some of the items will lead to other subdirectories.
Carry on googling and you'll soon have five thousand pounds worth. No need to send me 5K just knock a tenner off my council tax please.


crumbs brigade said...

Seems as though egg and best removal is a success in Dumfries and will continue

Salty the amazing chip eating seagull said...

Just sounds as though they're getting in a flap about nothing if you ask me, where are we supposed to live?

Joe said...

Typical of the waste of local government. As it happens, our human waste is greatly responsible for any seagull problem that there is. There is also a wealth of FREE expertise on the internet regarding seagulls. Unlike us seagulls can distinguish the difference between human individuals, they are intelligent and they can recognise a good thing when they see it. Stop wasting money and learn to live in harmony with birds !

Spurtle said...

I'm sure it's being going on for a while but this piecemeal dipping into Common Good funds is worrying.

Obviously things are slightly different in Inverness but we have nothing more than the assertions of the trustees of Nairn's common good ( ie the Councillors) that the fund is safe.

I don't know all of the details but perhaps NICE's proposals for a Community Interest company, or something similar, that would effectively spread the governance of the common good fund over many more shoulders is one of the only ways that to ensure that our fund isn't plundered by stealth to finance schemes that should be paid for from Council coffers.

Nairnac said...

Not only are they spending £5k of Inversnecky's common good cash on a seagull survey.
From this weeks Courier alone, they have also chucked £15k at a sign for the Victorian Market and £6k towards the Lib-Dems annual conference next March !
Dunno how big the Inversnecky Common Good Fund is, but they'll soon get through it at that rate !

Eilean-Donan-MacRath said...

I can remember when the Refuge Dump used to be on the back road to Auldearn. Turn right above Granny Barbours road then first on the left sorry but i cannot remember the name of the farm that used to lease the land to the council.But there was no problems then with seagulls as soon as it closed then they all moved into Nairn then the problem started. Can anybody explain why? they are now to many seaugulls now in Nairn.