Beggars and an an epidemic of pigeons are causing people to stay away from Mexborough town centre, fear community leaders.
The issue has sparked a call for action and talks have taken place with officials to find a solution to the problems in the town.
Shoppers and businesses have complained to their councillors about the problems, which have seen birds flocking on the streets and flying into flats above some of the shops, as well as leaving bird droppingss on the streets.
They have also raised concerns over the number of people begging on the streets, an issue which has already been clamped down on in Doncaster town centre.
Coun Bev Chapman said: “We have had a promise from the council that someone will come out and do something about the pigeons problem.
“We think some of the problem has been people buying bird seed and feeding them. We want anyone whose been doing that to stop. We think it probably constitues littering and they could be fined.
“The birds are causing a mess through their droppings, and they’re getting into the flats above the shops. It has been an issue around the market and the high street.
“A lot of people feel strongly about this, and its putting people off coming into the town centre.
“Begging is definitely putting people off too. It has definitely put people off and we’d like to see new powers to stop it like they have put in place in the town centre.”
Coun Andy Pickering added: “It has been suggested we have a community protection notice for the area.”
Dave Wilkinson, Assistant Director of Trading and Property Services, said of the issue of pigeons: “We have checked on the roosting sites in Mexborough town centre and have advised the local ward members and business owners on the best ways to pigeon proof the buildings and roosting spots. The presence of the birds is a common town centre issue and can be reduced when people refrain from feeding the pigeons which encourages them to move out to more rural areas in the search of naturally available food.”
Debbie John-Lewis, Assistant Director Communities, said of the issue of begging in the town: “We are dealing with the concerns raised in Mexborough and there is a multi-partner action plan that involves the council, police, other support services and local councillors. Our aim is clear, to support individuals that are vulnerable and in need of help to improve their circumstances for the better, but also to address any form of anti-social behaviour.”