Locals outraged as elderly slapped with barmy £150 fines for feeding birds

Pensioners in East London are facing £150 fines for feeding birds in a local park, sparking a heated row.

Residents who visit Star Park in Newham have reportedly been punished for what the local council deems to be “fly tipping” — a classification that has been slammed by locals.

During a recent full council meeting, ward councillor Areeq Chowdhury strongly urged the council to reconsider these fines and improve signage across all parks in the borough to explain the reasons for disallowing bird feeding.

He argued that when pensioners engage in bird feeding, they’re not committing an act of fly-tipping but are instead performing an act of kindness towards nature, often finding it soothing for their mental well-being.

He called the fines “particularly unfair”, especially during the cost-of-living crisis, reports MyLondon.

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He said: “I have no doubt that there are good reasons for the public to not feed birds, however these fines seem punitive.

“Will the council consider reviewing fines given for this reason over the past 12 months, and if they can’t be refunded, will they commit to putting up clear signage across all parks in Newham explaining the penalties and rationale for not feeding the birds?”

In a public statement, the council acknowledged that while feeding birds may seem like a “harmless activity”, it ends up attracting vermin such as rats in “large numbers”, causing “many and varied issues, including severe health problems for local residents.”

The council added:”Consequently, actions are taken by all local authorities, particularly in built up urban areas within London. Bird feeding on a repeated scale that causes nuisance is contrary to the law, as it is an offence to drop controlled waste on the public highway, park or open space to feed birds.”

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The council then clarified that the penalties for bird feeding fall under ‘littering’ rather than fly tipping and can result in a £150 fine, which can be reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days.

In response to clearer signs, the council has vowed to “enhance its public information about a range of environmental enforcement issues, including bird feeding in public”.

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