LondonNet News Headlines
04/10/00
Pigeon Man Loses Battle of Trafalgar
- Mayor brings out the heavies to shoo away birds' best friend

PIGEON POLICE have evicted the last bird-food seller on Trafalgar Square, as London Mayor Ken Livingstone carries through an earlier threat to change the face of one of the capital's most famous tourist spots.

To the delight of millions of visitors and children, Bernard Rayner and his family have sold feed from their pitch on the square for more than half a century, but were dealt with in summary fashion. "Three heavies came down and told me to leave," Rayner said. "They said if I didn't move they could seize my trailer and van, fine me 1,000, arrest me and make my life hell. They were all well over six feet tall." Rayner's vendor's licence ran out on Sunday.

Livingstone says he wants to to remove the pigeons for health reasons and to enable the square to become cafe-friendly. "I want to see a space that is accessible to all, with a programme of events celebrating the variety of arts and cultures abundant in the capital. These activities, along with plans for pedestrianisation, will encourage more people on to the square, creating a communal area that is safe and clean for people to enjoy," the Mayor said.

Critics, including LondonNet, have pointed out that all the earnest activities listed by Livingstone are available a mere five minutes walk from Trafalgar Square at Covent Garden, so that, far from expanding the choice of cultural pursuits, the Mayor will only succeed in limiting them.




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