Calls for seagull-proof rubbish bins to solve litter problem in Northumberland seaside village

Calls have been made for seagull proof bins in a Northumberland tourist hotspot.

Monday, 11th January 2021, 7:00 am

Concerns about gulls feasting on fish and chip leftovers in Seahouses have been raised by parish councillors.

They believe the bins themselves are partly to blame for litter problems and have asked for alternative options to be looked at.

"It all boils down to the bins not being fit for purpose for a coastal village with seagulls flying around,” said Cllr Alan Macfarlane.

Overflowing bins in Seahouses at the end of a bank holiday weekend.
Overflowing bins in Seahouses at the end of a bank holiday weekend.

"It would solve everything if we had a bin with a lid on it that a seagull couldn’t get into,” he told a meeting of North Sunderland Parish Council.

“We haven’t got enough of them and they’re not big enough. Every morning they have been pulled out and there is rubbish everywhere.

"Just about everybody I ever speak to regarding the parish council goes on about the state of the litter on the Main Street.”

Cllr David Donaldson suggested that Northumberland County Council could be approached about more regular emptying of the bins.

"That’s the whole top and bottom of it,” he said. “They don’t empty them late enough in the afternoon or early evening and then in the early hours the gulls come and pull the rubbish out.”

County councillor Guy Renner-Thompson responded: “At the height of the summer they are emptied first thing and last thing again but knowing the route they do it would be difficult to add in another later collection. A seagull proof bin would be the best bet.”

However, Cllr Maureen Bramley said human behaviour also had to change.

She said: “You have people who come here on holiday and will sit and have their fish and chips who will put their rubbish on the ground next to the bin because it is full and they can’t be bothered to walk to another bin that’s half-empty. I have seen that happen.

"Until you get people who are prepared to do that you are still going to have a problem.”

A site visit will be carried out to look at it in more detail and businesses will be consulted on any proposal.

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