Rock Failure

In the on-going gull cull controversy in Bath, the acknowledged expert on urban gulls is Peter Rock. He has been a strong supporter of the softly-softly do-very-little approach taken by Bath and North East SomersetBath TPA-small Council, which has seen the gull population grow not diminish. A bitter blow to his quest to understand the gulls better has been delivered by recent government cutbacks. He was hoping to win £500,000 from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to spend three years tracking down the movement of gulls around Bath and Bristol, using global positioning satellite technology. By doing this, he hoped to reduce council and private spending on the problem. That is, by spending half a million pounds of taxpayers’ money to establish the bleedin’ obvious! Gulls feed on garbage in the morning.
That such a use of public money could even be contemplated reveals the spendthrift nature of the empire of the quangos over the last decade. Still, Mr Rock—the expert who knows everything about gulls apart from half a million pounds worth of research—has not given up completely on solving the gull problem. “Having discussed the matter at length,” he said, “we have decided that we will devote our determination to exploring other funding possibilities.” Bath MP Don Foster, no doubt, will encourage him, saying: “I am very disappointed that the research grant has not been approved.” As one reader of a previous blog on this local problem suggested, a far cheaper solution would be an airgun...
Tim Newark, Bath TaxPayers’ Alliance


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