Stare at the mess

Paying a trip to the cinema on Saturday for the new James Bond movie, Skyfall, I was amazed to see many seagulls in the City Gate car park in Chichester tucking into food left for rubbish in bins near the fast food restaurants.

I didn’t stay long to stare at the mess they were making but when I went back Sunday morning, I realised what the problem was: the bins were full to overflowing because the takeaway restaurants at the City Gate – McDonalds and KFC – clearly weren’t clearing up and taking away the litter made by customers.

I’m not sure if Chichester District Council or McDonalds and KFC are at fault – or, of course, messy punters.

Whatever, there are plenty of verminous seagulls now used to tucking in to everyone’s leftover food.

And a pretty disgusting mess the birds, restaurants, punters and council are all causing.

It is pretty annoying to see the council paying scant attention to this environmental health problem while at the same time Chichester council officers are happy to act the bureaucrat and send out notices hitting small business owners like Jo Price from The Lunch Box in St John’s Street with pettiness over shop canopies, putting the bejeebers up her with a threat of a £2,500 fine.

Jo Price is clearly working hard to make a living selling decent food from a smart city premises, while fast food joints at City Gate are allowed to cause mess detrimental to health and experience no action.

It’s not right and it’s not fair.

How much business and commerce is Chichester District Council helping generate by jumping up and down on small businesses like The Lunch Box?

More likely, this approach is losing the city business – and that failure puts upward pressure on our council tax.

While councils are not commercially accountable and do not have to explain and demonstrate specifically how much their departments contribute wealth-wise to the community they claim to serve, the more this manifest unfairness will continue.

Mark Chapman