I have had several reports about the growing pile of pigeon poo outside the front door of Ludlow Library. The library is owned by Shropshire Council but the council seems incapable of resolving the problem, even though the mess has been developing for weeks and council staff pass it six days a week. As do hundreds of residents and children. The council’s environmental protection team say they can’t help with clearing up this health risk. The council will need to bring in a contractor. The simple short-term solution of a mop and bucket doesn’t seem to be available.
I initially sent a complaint through Twitter. I chose this method because I periodically use different ways of contacting the council so that I experience what members of the public experience. I was told that I couldn’t use Twitter to report an environmental problem – and therefore neither can you.
But I stood my ground. Is social media just a one-way promotional facility for Shropshire Council?
A complaint was then filed on my behalf. The reply from the council’s public protection team said:
“There aren’t any measures in place to prevent the mess being caused by the pigeons from an environmental health point of view. Also, our Pest Control team don’t have a treatment method for pigeons. An effective way to alleviate their presence would be to look into installing some form of pigeon-proofing e.g. anti-roosting spikes.”
I am advised to contact the council’s estates department:
“It may be worth contacting property services to see if the library comes under the many buildings that they maintain – if so it’d be a case of bringing in a contractor to carry out works.”
I despair at this lack of joined-up thinking within Shropshire Council. Surely one department can pass a message to another? Surely departments talk to each other?
Hundreds of people including children pass this health hazard every week. No private company would allow this to happen. Someone would be sent outside to mop it up. But in Shropshire Council’s case, it looks like a contractor will need to be employed.
Why someone can’t go out with a mop and bucket I don’t know. I also do not know why long-term measures to prevent pigeon fouling are not in place in a building Shropshire Council has owned for a decade. It shouldn’t need a councillor to report this and get it dealt with. It is a hygiene matter and ought to be a priority for the council.