COUNCIL chiefs have urged people not to drop food scraps around town in a bid to reduce the risk caused by seagulls.
Residents and visitors alike are being urged not to discard food waste by simply dropping it on the ground.
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Seagulls pose regular problems, often “dive-bombing” aggressively to grab food or protect their young, and officials from Hartlepool Borough Council say food litter, such as fish and chip scraps, doesn’t help the situation.
On the Headland, residents are now calling on customers of fish and chip shops and other takeaways to always put their food waste in a bin.
Headland Parish Council chairman Jim Ainslie said: “Each year, more gulls return here to their nesting grounds, encouraged by the amount of readily available food.
“Visitors to the seafront are often seen tipping left-over food on to the pavement without a thought for the problems it can cause.
“We have received more complaints than ever this year. But all we can do is offer advice and urge visitors and residents alike to consider their own actions.”
Posters have been put around the Headland asking people not to feed seagulls.
They are also being reminded that dropping litter, including food waste, is an offence punishable by a Fixed Penalty Notice of £75.
And to further discourage the seagulls which are protected by law, residents are being advised to try to prevent birds gaining access to potential nesting sites on their homes and ensure that food waste is not left lying around within the boundaries of their properties.
Refuse should be put into secure containers and pet food containers should either be moved indoors or cleared away after use.