Pensioner fined for feeding pigeons in Leigh

Wigan Council classes pigeons as vermin

Wigan Council classes pigeons as vermin

First published in North West

A PENSIONER says she was 'humiliated' after being issued with a £50 fine - for feeding pigeons in Leigh.

The 82-year-old, from Leigh, was feeding the pigeons with bird food she had brought from the market on Bradshawgate last Monday, January 27, when she was approached by a Wigan Council environment enforcement officer.

He informed her she was in breach of section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act and issued her a fixed penalty notice for littering.

Her son, who asked to remain anonymous, is furious that his mother wasn't given a warning instead and that there is no process for appeal.

He said: "How is my mother supposed to know that she was in breach of some act? At the least there should be signs saying don't feed the pigeons.

"She has never been fined in all her 82 years and had to suffer the humiliation and embarrassment of this in full glare of the public. I rang to ask why she couldn't have been given a warning and was told that the council has a zero tolerance policy towards littering. I said she is a frail, old woman, but he wasn't interested.

"My mother lives alone on state pension and only just manages to get by - £50 is a huge chunk of her pension. She is distraught. I am so angry at the way she has been treated."

Terry Dunn, director of environment at Wigan Council, said: "Wigan Council discourages people from feeding pigeons in the town centre.

"The birds are classed as vermin as they carry and spread disease.

"Because of that, we do take the offence, which is treated as dropping litter, very seriously.

"I'd like to advise residents not to encourage pigeons by feeding them. Anyone caught will receive a £50 on the spot fine."

Comments (4)

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1:29pm Sat 8 Feb 14

FlyingMango says...

Instead of chasing pensioners who feed pigeons, why doesn't Terry Dunn's 'officer's' focus on catching the people who let their dogs drop excrement all over the pavement. The pavements around Twist Lane and Railway Road are regularly coated in dog mess and I'm fed up of having to dodge it every time I leave the house. Pigeons apparently do not eat this!!
Instead of chasing pensioners who feed pigeons, why doesn't Terry Dunn's 'officer's' focus on catching the people who let their dogs drop excrement all over the pavement. The pavements around Twist Lane and Railway Road are regularly coated in dog mess and I'm fed up of having to dodge it every time I leave the house. Pigeons apparently do not eat this!! FlyingMango
  • Score: 8

10:18am Sun 9 Feb 14

MsTerry says...

This is just awful! What a dreadful way to treat a local lady. Shame on you Leigh Council! I fully understand the damage these pigeons do to buildings and the costs involved in cleaning up after them but surely this lady could have just been advised of this, a fine is just ridiculous. I was actually forced to move from a very nice part of Leigh because of the anti social actions of a small minority of youths, leaving behind some lovely neighbours who really cared about each other, their community and environment . Their behaviour was repeatedly reported to the council by an excellent, caring Neighbourhood Watch team but no £50 fines were ever handed out. In fact, apart from useless letters through doors, nothing was done. For goodness sake get your priorities sorted Leigh!

In the meantime this fine should be cancelled. If it isn't then I for one would be willing to contribute what I can from my disability benefits. Just tell me where to send the money.

I do hope this caring lady has recovered from her ordeal and has someone who can take her to Pennington Flash occasionally to feed the birds ( I hope we haven't been banned from this yet as this is something I enjoy doing on the rare occasions I get out of the house).
This is just awful! What a dreadful way to treat a local lady. Shame on you Leigh Council! I fully understand the damage these pigeons do to buildings and the costs involved in cleaning up after them but surely this lady could have just been advised of this, a fine is just ridiculous. I was actually forced to move from a very nice part of Leigh because of the anti social actions of a small minority of youths, leaving behind some lovely neighbours who really cared about each other, their community and environment . Their behaviour was repeatedly reported to the council by an excellent, caring Neighbourhood Watch team but no £50 fines were ever handed out. In fact, apart from useless letters through doors, nothing was done. For goodness sake get your priorities sorted Leigh! In the meantime this fine should be cancelled. If it isn't then I for one would be willing to contribute what I can from my disability benefits. Just tell me where to send the money. I do hope this caring lady has recovered from her ordeal and has someone who can take her to Pennington Flash occasionally to feed the birds ( I hope we haven't been banned from this yet as this is something I enjoy doing on the rare occasions I get out of the house). MsTerry
  • Score: 3

7:59pm Mon 10 Feb 14

jeffs1 says...

FlyingMango wrote:
Instead of chasing pensioners who feed pigeons, why doesn't Terry Dunn's 'officer's' focus on catching the people who let their dogs drop excrement all over the pavement. The pavements around Twist Lane and Railway Road are regularly coated in dog mess and I'm fed up of having to dodge it every time I leave the house. Pigeons apparently do not eat this!!
Thanks to FlyingMango and Ms Terry and everyone else who think that the treatment of my mother is disgraceful, Your comments are very much appreciated
[quote][p][bold]FlyingMango[/bold] wrote: Instead of chasing pensioners who feed pigeons, why doesn't Terry Dunn's 'officer's' focus on catching the people who let their dogs drop excrement all over the pavement. The pavements around Twist Lane and Railway Road are regularly coated in dog mess and I'm fed up of having to dodge it every time I leave the house. Pigeons apparently do not eat this!![/p][/quote]Thanks to FlyingMango and Ms Terry and everyone else who think that the treatment of my mother is disgraceful, Your comments are very much appreciated jeffs1
  • Score: 3

11:09am Fri 21 Feb 14

amnawaq says...

This is absolutely ridiculous. I've seen plenty of people feed the pigeons in the town square. Where are the signs that says feeding pigeons isn't allowed?
I totally agree with the above comments about the dog fouling. It is so bad around the Buchannan Street and Walmesley Road area. We're having to watch where we walk all the time. Are the Environmental officers blind to all this excrement? Dog fouling is a far greater problem than feeding pigeons.
When's the last time a so called Environment Officer fined a dog owner for not picking up after their dog? My guess is, never.
This is absolutely ridiculous. I've seen plenty of people feed the pigeons in the town square. Where are the signs that says feeding pigeons isn't allowed? I totally agree with the above comments about the dog fouling. It is so bad around the Buchannan Street and Walmesley Road area. We're having to watch where we walk all the time. Are the Environmental officers blind to all this excrement? Dog fouling is a far greater problem than feeding pigeons. When's the last time a so called Environment Officer fined a dog owner for not picking up after their dog? My guess is, never. amnawaq
  • Score: 0

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