People feeding the pigeons in a Black Country town will be hit with a £75 fine.
A pilot scheme has been launched in Wednesbury in the fight against ‘nuisance’ pigeons. A sign warning people of the possible fine for fly-tipping, which includes dropping bread, has been installed.
It is thought the signs could be rolled out across the rest of Sandwell if the scheme proves successful, with traders hoping it will get rid of the pigeons for good.
On Saturday, wardens, councillors and a hawk were handing out leaflets to make people aware during the first day of the town’s new weekend market.
Ward councillor Elaine Costigan said: “People are facing a £75 fine if wardens cop anyone dropping litter. We just want to get rid of the birds once and for all.
“People drop bread and bits of food at the bottom of Union Street, attracting them all. They are always sitting on top of the shops, so I think the shopkeepers are over the moon with the scheme. We once had so much mess on the floors that someone slipped.
“We are just trying to get through to people that it’s not right what they are doing.”
Trader Bridget O’Connell, who owns O’Connell’s florist and fruiterer on Union Street, says she has tried repeatedly to keep the birds away but nothing has so far worked.
She said: “They are a nuisance, with the general mess they leave. I’ve put spikes on my property and done everything possible, and we are still getting them flying under the blind and nesting. Something has to be done.
“They sort of dive bomb people as they are walking down the street, so they are a real nuisance. I was once walking to the car park when a pigeon came out of a derelict building and landed dead in front of me.”
It is not the first pilot scheme that has been run in the town to try to get rid of the birds.
Two successful trial runs during which a hawk handler was deployed in Market Place were held earlier this year, but it was decided not to continue the scheme.
One trader even tried installing a wooden owl in the hope it would scare them away.
It comes after Sandwell Council opened new centres designed to make it easier to report problems such as fly-tipping.
The so-called ‘locals’ have opened at Smethwick Council House in High Street; Payne Street, Blackheath and High Street, Princes End, Tipton.
A further two will open in West Bromwich and Wednesbury in the next six months. In Oldbury, the One Stop Shop at Sandwell Council House will continue to offer a full range of council services, as it has done for a number of years.