Great Yarmouth pub landlord calls on council to clean up after bird poo slip

Row 46 which the landlord of the Back to Backs pub wants the council to clean on a regular basis. Pi

Row 46 which the landlord of the Back to Backs pub wants the council to clean on a regular basis. Picture: George Ryan - Credit: Archant

A pub landlord is calling on the borough council to clean up the rows after his wife slipped on bird poo.

Landlord of the Back to Backs, Wayne Smith, said his wife Lynne fell into a wall outside the centuries-old building in March this year while she was carrying shopping in both hands.

Mr Smith added that the area is a busy thoroughfare and should be regularly cleaned by the council for appearances as well as public safety.

After complaining to the borough council, the couple received a letter from a council officer, which said they would only offer compensation if he showed that the council legally has to, by proving the council was at fault.

The letter stated: 'It is the borough council's responsibility to cleanse this area as it is a publicly adopted route and where we are made aware that there is a build of faeces we will seek to have this cleansed.

'Unfortunately there is not enough resource to pressure wash this area regularly and therefore we rely on information from the public to confirm if action needs to be taken.'

It continued: 'We had not received any requests to view the area prior to the accident date.

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'We believe we could not have foreseen this issue as we do not have the resource to have a regular inspection in place.

'Additionally, the bird excrement is an act of nature which we cannot predict will take place.'

The council officer added they are proactive in tackling these issues and they have in the past encouraged building owners to install bird proofing which would prevent the poo build-up from happening.

After a meeting between a council officer and the landlord's wife the area was cleaned three days later. A senior environmental ranger at the council said he was not aware of any other slips or falls in the area.

In an official statement, Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: 'The council would like to express its sympathies for Mrs Smith.

'When environmental services were made aware of this unfortunate incident, the area was jet-washed within 48 hours.

'There are many alleyways in Great Yarmouth's historic centre. It is not possible to have a strict inspection regime in place, so officers rely on residents and businesses to report any environmental issues, including dog-fouling, fly-tipping and bird mess.'

'Where issues are reported, the council will take swift and appropriate action, as in this case.

'To help prevent bird mess in alleyways, the borough council continues to encourage local residents and businesses to bird-proof their properties, but this cannot be enforced.'

What do you think? Email Letters at or write to The Mercury, 169 King Street, Great Yarmouth NR30 2PA.

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