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‘Bully’ council threatens to fine 97-year-old pensioner for feeding the birds in her back garden after a neighbour complains

Admin By Admin Nov27,2023


  • Anne Seago, 97, says she’s being bullied by Fylde Council in Blackpool
  • She says she’s been threatened with a fine for feeding birds in her back garden
  • Health officers have driven past her home to see if birds are roosting on the roof

A 97-year-old woman is too afraid to feed birds in her back garden after a ‘bullying’ council threatened to fine her.

Retired music teacher Anne Seago says she can’t even bring herself to look out of the windows of her conservatory to watch the sparrows and robins after being accused of anti-social behaviour.

Council officials are said to have pursued Mrs Seago for two years after a neighbour complained that pigeons and seagulls were attracted to her bird table and caused a nuisance. 

Environmental health officers have also driven past her bungalow to see if pigeons are roosting on the roof.

Earlier this month, Mrs Seago received a ‘written warning’ from the council saying she will be issued with a community protection notice and fined £100 if she does not cease her ‘anti-social behaviour’. 

Retired music teacher Anne Seago (pictured) says she can’t even bring herself to look out of the windows of her conservatory to watch the sparrows and robins

Residents supportive of Mrs Seago say the council is 'bullying and victimising' her

Residents supportive of Mrs Seago say the council is ‘bullying and victimising’ her

Anne was sent a threatening letter by her local council which said it would fine her if she continued to feed her birds

Fylde Council chief executive Allan Oldfield, who earns up to £93,699-a-year from taxpayers. The council did not respond to a request for comment

Fylde Council chief executive Allan Oldfield, who earns up to £93,699-a-year from taxpayers. The council did not respond to a request for comment

The letter says putting food out for wild birds is ‘unreasonable and is having a detrimental effect on neighbouring residents’.

Mrs Seago, who receives regular check-ups due to her age, said: ‘I am stressed out. My blood pressure is up and it was perfect the last time. 

‘After all this began, I have started having problems with my hands and legs. I’m not saying all this has caused it but I can’t be sure. I want to live to 100.’

Mrs Seago, of Staining, near Blackpool – who has lived at her home since it was built in 1982 – enjoys sitting in her conservatory and watching sparrows and robins eat seeds on her bird table.

She lives with her son, retired car salesman Alan, 77, who fears the battle with Fylde Council could put his mother’s life at risk. 

He said: ‘The council letter is menacing. This will finish her off. If we get fined, we are prepared to go to court.’

Residents supportive of Mrs Seago say the council is ‘bullying and victimising’ her while refusing to investigate counter-complaints against Darren Horne, the neighbour who has complained, for playing loud music and banging his bin lid. 

Ian Wright, who lives a couple of doors down, said: ‘It’s the man next door to Anne and Alan who has been sending emails in complaining about all the birds, yet the council ignores our complaints (against him). It is bullying, pure and simple.’

Environmental health officers have driven past her bungalow to see if pigeons are roosting on the roof

Environmental health officers have driven past her bungalow to see if pigeons are roosting on the roof

She lives with her son, retired car salesman Alan, 77, who fears the battle with Fylde Council could put his mother's life at risk

She lives with her son, retired car salesman Alan, 77, who fears the battle with Fylde Council could put his mother’s life at risk

Mr Wright, 67, said the flock of pigeons Mr Horne complained about were abandoned in the area by a resident who moved to Spain and released them to fend for themselves. 

Retired housing support worker Mr Wright, who described the council’s letter as ‘draconian and intended to terrify elderly retirees’, added: ‘We’re very concerned about Anne and Alan’s welfare.’

Mrs Seago and her son claimed Mr Horne has repeatedly blasted out punk music and banged his wheelie bin lid to annoy them.

She said: ‘He does silly things. I thought it was funny him banging the bin lid but it has gone beyond a joke.’ 

Mr Horne, who is in his 50s, denied playing loud music to annoy his neighbours and said he banged the bin lid to scare the birds away. 

He added: ‘Other residents have complained. I am dealing with the council.’

Fylde Council did not respond to a request for comment.



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