Seagulls are magnificent, but we do have too many

some hate them
some hate them

That will bring you good luck, a passer-by advised me.

That will bring you good luck, a passer-by advised me just after one of our delightful seagulls deposited the contents of its bowels directly over me and several other lucky people on the seafront.

This was followed by conversations with other people who were sitting outside the same café about how many of the wretched things there are flying around above us and what a nuisance they are.

There is no doubt that seagulls are magnificent creatures and make up part of the beach scene in all seaside resorts. Their natural habitat, though, is in chalk cliffs and rocks - not rooftops. Nor is their natural diet rubbish from waste bins or leftover food - which, with Brighton being the day-trip destination of the south coast, is available in abundance.

Some people love them; some hate them. I personally think, if there were fewer of them - as there are in other resorts, where the pickings are not so plentiful - they would be a joy to see. That, however, is not the case. And there are far too many of them. Protected or not, some sort of controls need putting in place.

I am not talking about shooting or poisoning them. I would be totally against such an approach. The city council, however, ought to be taking strong action to control what are, in effect, fast becoming pests.

The easy way to bring down numbers is simply to stop them nesting on roofs for a couple of years. It's not rocket science and it is a humane way of reducing numbers without resorting to shooting or poisoning. It is simple enough to break the eggs and then, once numbers are down to the national average - when we stop feeling as if we are all extras in the Hitchcock movie, The Birds - we may begin to enjoy seeing seagulls again.

I was one of the first to applaud the installation of the large roadside bins. It would, however, have been better if they were sunk in the ground, as they are in Florence, for example. Nevertheless, they are a big improvement on black bags ripped open by seagulls all over the city. But a great many of these bins have been broken and have the lids missing, so the seagulls are back in there again redistributing the rubbish around our streets.

It amazes me that, despite having a budget of more than £750 million a year, the ruling junta are unable or unwilling to repair these bins. It really is pathetic that no attempt whatsoever has been made to remedy this. We see our councillors continually patting each other on the back, despite their inability to tackle even the simplest of tasks while freely signing off grandiose schemes we cannot possibly afford.

Nothing ever gets finished properly and - despite all the grandiose ideas and schemes that have been implemented - most have had little thought put into them. Examples would be Regency Square, where having spent £4 million revamping the car park, it has proved an impossibility for them to repair the grass area that was used for contractors storage.

Another prime example would be the new arches between the much-lauded i360 Trust site and Alfresco. Wonderful job replacing the arches - as it should have been, having gone on for two years at a cost of several million pounds. But why would anyone think its a good idea to leave the two areas opposite as a haven for drunks and consequently looking like something from downtown Beirut.

It might be a good idea if they actually consulted with the new tenants of the rebuilt arches to see what they think. One suggestion would be some more beach volleyball courts. That would bring in the punters, as it has done further along towards the busier seafront section. We need to bring this underused section alive now for the benefit of those currently trading there and not wait for two years in the hope that the i360 is the answer to every one's prayers.

It seems our elected representatives are missing a quality-control person in the organisation somewhere. Any volunteers?