‘Stop the pigeons’ plea from MP

A SENIOR politician has said action has to be taken to reduce the number of pigeons in Newtownards town centre.

Strangford MP, Jim Shannon said Ards and North Down Council needs to act quickly, particularly in relation to Conway Square where he said the problem is particularly bad.

Last September, local alderman Stephen McIlveen urged the public to desist from feeding the pigeons in Conway Square, and said he had submitted a motion to Ards and North Down Council to request the matter be addressed.

This week Mr Shannon has taken up the fight having received numerous complaints from shoppers and people using local shops.

“People are stepping over pigeon droppings or running the gauntlet to get into the shops with pigeons sitting on the guttering above and hoping they won’t get hit on the head by the falling droppings,” said Mr Shannon.

He described the pigeons as being a ‘pest problem’, particularly in Conway Square, where people have been deterred from using the seating, due to the benches being ‘covered’ in droppings.

He added: “If you do manage to get a clear seat the next question is whether the pigeons will be swooping down past your head or coming for your lunch.”

Mr Shannon said while the council had taken steps to address the problem some years ago, a new scheme needed to be found to allow the public ‘to enjoy the lovely seating and atmosphere of the Square and not have it ruined by fear of the pigeons’.