Pigeon feeding - 400,000 annual cost

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Saturday 10 February 2018 12.09am
So far at least we agree that pigeon feeding is nuisance behavior.

Judging from your responses your concern seems to be that there is no specific legal framework for prosecution. I would argue that actually the laws pertaining to nuisance behavior and the environment are indeed enough to deal with the problem, if they were enforced.

If someone is so arrogant or ignorant that they are moved on because they persist in their antisocial behavior then they will get no sympathy from the people they affect. Antisocial behavior is antisocial behavior. They can collect their Darwin award on the way to the countryside where they ... and their pigeons belong.

"Perhaps as a first step Southwark Council could put out similar information about the legal situation in this borough. "

Actually they DO but you seem to have misplaced your copy ... no problem.

http://lmgtfy.com/?s=d&q=soutwark+tenants+handbook

Have no fear John ... you do not have to tolerate living with pigeon feces and rat infestations caused by people who couldn't care less about the consequences of their actions.

faraday
Saturday 10 February 2018 10.45am
faraday wrote:
...
"Perhaps as a first step Southwark Council could put out similar information about the legal situation in this borough. "

Actually they DO but you seem to have misplaced your copy ... no problem.

http://lmgtfy.com/?s=d&q=soutwark+tenants+handbook

...

faraday

Well, faraday, as should have been pretty obvious from my previous posts, I haven't 'mislaid' my tenant's handbook, because (like a good proportion of people living in this borough) I'm not a council tenant. And since it's clearly addressed to council tenants there's no reason at all why I or so many others should have come across it.

So what does it say about pigeons? Quote 'Please note your tenancy conditions state that you must not feed pigeons anywhere on the estate. They can cause a nuisance to your neighbours and can attract other vermin such as rats, mice, squirrels and foxes.'

Try it again, with my emphasis: 'Please note your TENANCY conditions state that YOU [ie A COUNCIL TENANT] must not feed pigeons anywhere ON THE ESTATE.' At least they've dropped the confused reference to 'the locality of the property'.

Clearly they can't impose this sanction on non-council tenants, nor on what council tenants do OUTSIDE the estate on which they happen to live. I suppose the second sentence 'They can cause a nuisance to your neighbours and can attract other vermin such as rats, mice, squirrels and foxes' may be taken to reflect the Council's overall attitude to the practice of feeding pigeons elsewhere in the borough, but it would be helpful if they told the rest of us!

For example - we've been told there's a notice in Tabard Gardens with a warning about a fine for feeding pigeons. Is there one in Newington Gardens/Gaol Park? - can I (and council tenants from the Rockingham Estate) feed the pigeons there? (Or at least until it becomes a 'nuisance' and the Council put up a notice?) Or can we feed the crows instead?

If Southwark Council is spending nearly 100,000 p.a. on 'bird control' there is obviously a 'bird problem' in at least some parts of the borough - and it must go far beyond one example of habitual mass pigeon feeding at the Elephant. And no, faraday, I don't think it's a 'scam' as you originally claimed. But perhaps it is time the Council explained its 'bird policy' and how it uses the existing legislation. Then, faraday, you'll be able to point out to them how much more efficient a use of taxpayers' money it would be to take action against individual pigeon-feeders (particularly if they happen to be council tenants).
Saturday 10 February 2018 12.14pm
"Clearly they can't impose this sanction on non-council tenants"

Wrong - leaseholders can lose their leasehold and visitors can be fined for littering etc.

Its worse for tenants and leaseholders because their home is at risk due to breach of contract if they feed pigeons on the estate. Away from their estate they simply get fined as anyone littering our streets would.

When you see people throwing litter in the street John, do you speak out, or simply turn a blind eye?

You don't seem keen on pigeon feeding activity being stopped.

Why is that?
Saturday 10 February 2018 12.58pm
faraday wrote:
"Clearly they can't impose this sanction on non-council tenants"
Wrong - leaseholders can lose their leasehold and visitors can be fined for littering etc.

...

?

Thank you for the correction, faraday - but you directed me to the Tenants' Handbook, so I answered on that basis. You've told us previously that the condition covers leaseholders as well - perhaps there's a leaseholders' handbook, but you didn't direct me to it. If you like, please insert 'or leasholder' in my posts where appropriate. In any case, it's totally irrelevant if the action takes place beyond the boundary of the estate.


Quote:
... and visitors can be fined for littering etc.
Its worse for tenants and leaseholders because their home is at risk due to breach of contract if they feed pigeons on the estate. Away from their estate they simply get fined as anyone littering our streets would.

Quite - so why all your emphasis on the particular situation of council tenants/leasholders, when the case under discussion seems to relate to behaviour taking place NOT on a council estate?
Saturday 10 February 2018 1.40pm
Continued:


The litter laws do seem to be the ones to apply in the first instance.

faraday wrote:
When you see people throwing litter in the street John, do you speak out, or simply turn a blind eye?

Good question, faraday! When you see someone feeding a large flock of pigeons at the Elephant, do you speak out? Do you tell them in an authoritative voice that their behaviour is antisocial, and littering, and subject to an on-the-spot fine if they are caught - and remind them that it's a good job they're not doing it on the estate or they might lose their home? Or do you go off and write a message to SE1 complaining about the Council?

Quote:
You don't seem keen on pigeon feeding activity being stopped.
Why is that?

What got me involved in this discussion, faraday, was the tone and content of your original contribution to this thread - which of course still carries the title you gave it with your vast overestimate of the cost per year of Southwark Council's 'bird control' policies. You immediately made this the opportunity to accuse the council of running a 'scam': 'Is this some sort of council scam? They stop prosecuting pigeon feeders so they can 'release' hundreds of thousands of our hard earned council tax?'

Apart from not understanding the logic of the last sentence, I object to the usual knee-jerk reaction 'blame the Council, they're misusing our hard-earned money'.

As one who had when young (I admit it) fed the pigeons in Trafalgar Square (in the old days, before the seagulls took over) and the ducks in St James's Park, I was just puzzled at what point feeding pigeons in a public place becomes a legal offence - and under what law.

Littering - yes, now I understand. But see http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-394624/Pensioner-fined-50-feeding-pigeons.html - and notice the journalist's attitude. And the quote from the pensioner concerned 'I told them they had more than enough crime in Nottingham to tackle instead of having council wardens picking on old ladies like me.'

This was very different in scale and intent from what is happening on a regular basis at the Elephant - but it's clear the Council has a very fine line to follow if they're going to tackle individual cases using the litter laws - and without getting bad publicity!.

Perhaps there should be a special Southwark bye-law against 'persistent aggravated feeding of wildlife'. It would cover those who put out food for foxes as well. Not sure about bird-tables.
Saturday 10 February 2018 5.07pm
All I know, is that people get stopped and fined for dropping a cigarette butt or a sweets wrapper, so why not also fine those who dump bread or birdseed on the pavement?

It doesn't matter if the bread was dumped in order to feed birds: it is littering plain and simple, the residential status of the offender (LBS tenant or leaseholder, private tenant, etc) is of no consequence.
Saturday 10 February 2018 6.26pm
Jules62 wrote:
All I know, is that people get stopped and fined for dropping a cigarette butt or a sweets wrapper, so why not also fine those who dump bread or birdseed on the pavement? ...
.

I agree, Jules - and I don't know why not! Who in Southwark is responsible for stopping people and issuing fines?
Sunday 11 February 2018 7.51am
It always looks to me more a mental health issue given those I've seen dumping bags of bread/seed on the pavement, who often look to be on the fringe of normal behaviour. I suspect the feeding is more an act of empathy by those who feel shunned by those around them and are probably very lonely people.

I understand the frustration and certainly would rather such anti-social behaviour didn't happen but I also feel the need to Balance that against what personal circumstance has them engaging in this activity.
Sunday 11 February 2018 4.46pm
"I suspect the feeding is more an act of empathy....."

How difficult would it be to get these people sectioned?
Sunday 11 February 2018 7.39pm
Jules62 wrote:
All I know, is that people get stopped and fined for dropping a cigarette butt or a sweets wrapper, so why not also fine those who dump bread or birdseed on the pavement?
It doesn't matter if the bread was dumped in order to feed birds: it is littering plain and simple, the residential status of the offender (LBS tenant or leaseholder, private tenant, etc) is of no consequence.

Quite.

Today one of the grassed areas of Tabard Street has been littered with scraps of pitta bread again, which looks unsightly, and appears to be of no interest to the local bird life. This dumping of large quantities of left overs occurs regularly but I have so far never seen the person doing it. The sheer amount of waste being dumped suggests it's coming from a local caff.....

Btw, I was wrong about the '80' fine being mentioned on the park railings notice. It just threatens prosecution but doesn't give a figure.
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