MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East Stuart McDonald and MSP for Cumbernauld & Kilsyth Jamie Hepburn, have today revealed figures proving that the Council is aware the scale of the Gull problem in Carbrain.
This new evidence rubbishes claims previously made by the Council in correspondence with Mr Hepburn that the level of complaints received from Carbrain was below average.
Last summer 50 complaints were received from across the local authority area regarding gulls and pigeons, 24 out of 50 complaints came from the two old Council wards which cover Carbrain with 21 complaints received from Carbrain East, and a further 3 from Carbrain West and Greenfaulds. The average number of complaints registered per ward at that time was 0.7.
This summer Carbrain was the source of 16 out of 44 complaints, 10 of which were from Carbrain East and 6 of which were from Carbrain West and Greenfaulds. The next highest figure for any other area was 3, in Condorrat Central and the average per ward was 0.6.
The Council had previously claimed the levels of complaints in this area were below average. This was based on previous measure which included complaints about birds alongside those related to insects.
In one letter, Council officials stated that the number of complaints had dropped year on year and that “this potentially demonstrates that the problem is not as significant as is alleged”. Despite an extensive correspondence between the local MSP and officials over a number of years the Council failed to highlight that their methods of recording the numbers of complaints had altered or that that change made it so clear that Carbrain was the centre of gull complaints for the entire Council area.
Despite this evidence the Council have repeatedly refused to act to tackle the gull menace. Mr Hepburn has now written to the Council demanding an explanation and that they act now to tackle this issue.
Local MP Mr McDonald commented:
“Previously the Council had used figures purporting to show that the level of complaints received from this community was below average to excuse their own inaction. Their own figures have now revealed that this is not the case and they can no longer deny the scale of this problem.
“Nowhere else in the whole of the North Lanarkshire Council area even comes close to these levels of complaints.
“It is seriously concerning that the Council have failed to provide transparent information on the scale and context of these complaints up until now. They have serious questions to answer.”
“Their position is now indefensible and they must act immediately to address this problem."
Commenting on the revelations Mr Hepburn said:
“I continued to press the Council to do something about the gulls in Carbrain because the experience of my office was that it was clear that there were far more complaints coming from Carbrain than from any other area of the constituency. Now we have proof that it is the worst affected area by gulls in the whole North Lanarkshire Council area.
“Almost half of the complaints the Council received have come from this one community.
“The Council have to explain why it was not made clear that they were changing the way in which these complaints were measured and that when they changed the way they recorded complaints it became so clear that this area was experiencing unparalleled problems.”