PIGEONS have become the talk of Caldicot town centre with local councillors aiming to crack down on the public feeding them.
Councillors Jim Higginson and Frank Rowberry are calling for firmer backing from Monmouthshire County Council to control the pigeon population.
In recent years the local authority’s environmental health department have installed posters around the town centre dissuading people.
Head of public protection David Jones said: “Monmouthshire’s Environmental Health team has liaised with the town council and local shop owners to raise awareness of the difficulties caused by the increased number of pigeons in Caldicot’s shopping centre and give advice on appropriate measures to control the problem.
“Posters have been placed on local notice boards asking visitors and residents not to feed the pigeons.
“Our environmental health officers will approach any persons who are seen feeding the pigeons on a regular basis and will advise them of their responsibilities under littering laws.”
But Cllr Frank Rowberry believes that more permanent measures need to be taken to combat a “serious health and safety risk”.
“We’ve called for culls and a by-law to be put in place by the county council but we just keep getting knocked back.
“There were concerns about a hawk attacking pigeons in front of people.
He added: “We haven’t got a problem with them doing it in the wild, why shouldn’t we here?”
An image of members of the public feeding birds in the town centre posted on a Facebook page last week attracted more than 100 comments and interactions.
The post on the Caldicot Community Page has since been closed by the page’s administration.
According to Cllr Higginson, the council are aware members of the public continue to feed the birds.
The county council chairman has also claimed that he was threatened outside one of the village’s eateries when the attempted to stop someone from feeding the pigeons.
He said: “It’s a nuisance, especially to youngsters in particularly who frequent the town centre who can get scared by the birds flying quite close to them.
“At the end of the day, feeding these pigeons is littering and in my opinion it is completely indefensible.”
A spokeswoman for London & Cambridge Properties (LCP), the property developer who own the majority of buildings in the town centre, said: “We are aware of the issue with pigeons, and we will be working with the town council and local authority to address the problem going forward.”
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