PIGEON poo is making life miserable for shop owners in Ventnor. 

Businesses in the town are concerned the problem is posing a hazard to health and is damaging the town’s tourist image.

An issue in the town for many years, Ventnor Business Association (VBA) is now urging Ventnor Town Council to take action.

VBA said concern was growing among many disgruntled shop owners, who regularly scrub pigeon droppings from the pavements outside their premises, the problem was getting worse.

Some cafes had even stopped putting tables outside, with so many pigeons roosting above their premises. 

In response, the town council launched its own survey for business owners last month.

Of the 89 businesses surveyed, 83 per cent believed Ventnor had been spoilt by pigeons, with the same number wanting the town council to get rid of them.

The study concluded most Ventnor businesses wanted to use a hawk to solve the problem and pigeon droppings — particularly at the former bus station — had made the town 'scruffy and run down’.

The town council made efforts to remove the feathered foes with a hawk five years ago but the six-week experiment was not cost effective, according to its clerk, David Bartlett.

VBA secretary Tracy Ward said: "Seeing the pavements caked in pigeon poo does not provide a good image for the town. The issue was first raised with the town council six months ago and they are now taking the matter seriously.

"We hope for a positive outcome by the time we meet with them again in February.

"We understand the animals rights issues but there is health and hygiene to consider. It is hazardous waste."

Mr Bartlett added: "Nothing in the survey has surprised us. We want to respond positively but no clear decisions have yet been made."

Reporter: jonm@iwcpmail.co.uk