A BATTLE PLAN to rid Inverkeithing of nuisance seagulls is being drawn up.

Residents turned out in force to a public meeting at the Civic Centre on Tuesday night to discuss the problem gulls with some having to be turned away due to lack of space.

A community-led strategy is now being drawn up which will aim to raise awareness and target those who are feeding the pesky creatures.

The first area to be looked at will focus on Boreland Road but it is hoped this will then be rolled out to other places.

Local councillor David Barratt, who organised the meeting, said the level of attendance illustrated the importance of the issue and why action was needed.

"Local authorities do not have a statutory responsibility for dealing with nuisance gulls, this does not mean the council cannot provide guidance and advice," he said.

"The council does act against gulls nesting on council property and continues to roll out a strategy of public awareness. On my part, I hope that in arranging the public meeting and working with the residents, we can take a significant step forward in arming our communities with the ability to tackle what has been an annual nightmare.”

Seagulls have been swooping down on locals in the town and last month, the Press reported that a postman was arming himself with an umbrella to prevent being attacked in Scotmill Way.

Tuesday's meeting was attended by Dawn Jamieson, from Fife Council’s Safer Communities Team, as well as representatives from Dunfermline-based company Scottish Pest Control.

An awareness campaign targeting residents, local shops and schools will now be launched with an aim to reduce the seagulls' ability to find food while residents are also set to be encouraged to report any instance of people feeding the gulls so they can be written to and further action taken where appropriate.

Residents are also set to work with the private contractor to develop measures such as nest and egg removal to reduce the numbers nesting in the area.

Cllr Barratt said: "In the first instance, the Safer Communities Team would write to residents to explain the problem they are causing. On previous occasions, councils have been able to give out ASBOs, fixed penalties and fines but hopefully the letters should suffice.

"The success of the intervention by the private contractor is likely to depend to a large extent on the level of participation from home owners.

"I will be working with the community to encourage as many residents as possible to get involved. This will reduce the costs and increase the effectiveness of the strategy.”

The strategy – which it is hoped could be implemented in 2020 – will be developed in more detail in the coming weeks before a complete plan is put to residents for consideration.

"We have got to start somewhere and demonstrate what can be done from there," added Cllr Barratt.