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MPs to debate concerns about 'aggressive' seagulls

Concerns over "aggressive" seagulls are to be raised in Parliament, with ministers being urged to take action to protect seaside areas.

Conservative Oliver Colvile has secured a 90-minute debate on "seagulls in coastal towns and cities", to be held in Westminster Hall on Tuesday as MPs debate Brexit in the main Commons chamber.

The MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport, who will receive a response from a Government minister, told the Press Association: "I represent a seaside city and most certainly there have been a number of issues about aggressive seagulls.

"In about April or so the seagulls start producing babies, or are in the process of producing babies, and local businesses and outdoor restaurants get very concerned and very upset about the issue."

Mr Colvile said planning conditions for new buildings could include making it difficult for seagulls, which are a protected species, to nest on them.

On why he had sought the debate, he added: "I think it's time we do this now, not wait until April when we start to have all the baby seagulls start coming and suddenly we find people get upset."

A coalition government plan to give £250,000 for research into how to deal with growing numbers of seagulls in towns and cities was scrapped by the new Conservative administration weeks after the 2015 general election.

Then-prime minister David Cameron later said a "big conversation" was needed about the threat from seagulls.

His remarks came amid calls for culling to be introduced after two attacks in Cornwall left a pet tortoise and a Yorkshire terrier dead.

Mr Cameron had also previously spoken of his own seagull experiences, noting: "I haven't felt particularly oppressed by seagulls.

"In my distant past I remember some seagulls taking the ham out of a sandwich. But I haven't held that against the entire seagull population since."

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