Funding that was welcomed earlier this year for research into the ongoing urban gull problem in Bath has been scrapped by the Government, it has been announced.
The funding, announced in March, marked a key moment in former Bath MP Don Foster’s long battle for more research into the issue of urban gulls.
In the Budget, the Government committed the £250,000 to fund new research that would help tackle the problems that gulls are causing in cities and towns like Bath.
The current number of urban gulls in the UK is unknown, but according to the latest report by Defra’s Chief Scientist the two commonest species alone total over 250,000 breeding pairs.
The research would have improved the understanding of urban seagulls’ life cycles and behaviour so that authorities are better placed to tackle the problems they are causing, including by controlling urban seagull populations.
Commenting, leader of B&NES Liberal Democrats Dine Romero said: “The real worry is how fast these cuts have come, and that they’re only the tip of the ice berg.
“These £3billion of cuts are just the immediate savings; there will be a much deeper cuts programme announced by the Conservative Government in July.
“The Lib Dems on the Council will work to hold the Conservative administration to account, and minimise the impact the cuts to local Government funding have on ordinary residents here in Bath and North East Somerset.”
Former Lib Dem MP Don Foster added: “Now that the Conservatives are no longer restrained by being in Coalition, they are able to implement the scale of cuts to our services that they always wanted to.
“I worked hard, over many years, to secure that funding to tackle urban gulls.
“Everyone knows that they cause mess, noise and damage to property. It was going to make life better for people here in Bath.
“It’s a shame that much of the work the Lib Dems did over the last 5 years now looks like it’s going to be reversed.”