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Neighbour row erupts as ‘bully’ council threatens to fine pensioner, 97, for feeding birds after complaint

A pensioner has been left too afraid to feed birds in her back garden after a “bullying” council have threatened to fine her.

Anne Seago, 97, has been accused of anti-social behaviour by a neighbour who complained about the presence of the birds.


The council has been on her heels for two years after the neighbour made a complaint about pigeons and seagulls in Seago’s garden which were causing a “nuisance”.

Earlier this month, the 97-year-old received a written warning from the council saying that she must cease her “anti-social behaviour” or face a community protection notice and a fine of £100.

Seago has been told to stop feeding the birds in her garden (not pictured)

Flickr

Fylde Council defined the anti-social behaviour as “putting food out for the purpose of attracting wild birds”.

They said that Seago’s behaviour is “unreasonable” and negatively impacting other residents.

The council advised her to stop placing food outside for the birds and cautioned that if she ignored the notice, she would not be given another warning before being punished.

In a letter written to Seago, Fylde Council said: “This behaviour is unreasonable and is having a determinantal effect on neighbouring residents. Birds roosting and defecating is a public health nuisance and has the potential to cause disease.

“Stop placing food within the curtilage of [blank] for the purpose of attracting and feeding wild birds. This also includes placing any feed within the garage/outbuilding with the intention of attracting any wildlife inside,” they warned.

Seago, a retired piano teacher, said: “I am stressed out. My blood pressure is up and it was perfect the last time.

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“After all this began, I have started having problems with my hands and legs. I’m not saying all this has caused it but I can’t be sure. I want to live to 100.”

Fylde Council told GB News that they had received complaints since 2016 of excessive birds feeding at two different properties in Staining.

They said: “Informal letters had been sent by Fylde Council in the past informing the occupants of these two properties that complaints had been received.

“Officers visited the properties on numerous occasions, most recently in 2023 and reported witnessing hundreds of pigeons in proximity to these properties, mostly on rooftops, with large amounts of food to be provided for them.

“This has led to the accumulation of bird feed, which has the potential to attract vermin and spread disease, and the build-up of bird faeces, which can cause nuisance and damage to property.”

The council said that officers attempted on several occasions to make contact with the occupants of the two properties concerned.

One of the properties (it is unclear if this is Seago’s) never responded, according to the local authority.

The council issued Community Protection Warnings (CPW) to both properties in question on November 10.

They said: “The Community Protection Warning is not a legal notice it acts as a warning to cease the antisocial behaviour – in this instance, the placing of food within the curtilage of the relevant properties (including garages and outbuildings) for the purpose of attracting and feeding wild birds.

“If it continues the Council could consider serving a Community Protection Notice (CPN).

The hands of a resident at a nursing home
The hands of a resident at a nursing homePA

“Before issuing a CPN the local authority would have to be satisfied that that the conduct is having a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality, is unreasonable, and is persistent.

“Failure to comply with a CPN is a criminal offence. The council has acted in response to complaints from other residents in the neighbourhood.”

Seago lives with her son Alan, 77, in her home in Staining, near Blackpool.

Her son, a retired cars salesman, says he fears the conflict is putting an unnecessary strain on his mother’s health.

He told Mail Online: “The council letter is menacing. This will finish her off. If we get fined, we are prepared to go to court.”

Residents of Staining have supported Seago’s plight, accusing the council of “bullying and victimising her”.

Darren Horne, the neighbour who filed the complaint, has been accused of causing disruption to the community, as he allegedly plays loud punk music frequently.

“It’s the man next door to Anne and Alan who has been sending emails in complaining about all the birds, yet the council ignores our complaints (against him). It is bullying, pure and simple,” neighbour Ian Wright said.

“We’re very concerned about Anne and Alan’s welfare,” Wright stated.

Horne has denied all allegations against him.

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