A PENSIONER says she was 'humiliated' after being issued with a £50 fine - for feeding pigeons in Leigh.

The 82-year-old, from Leigh, was feeding the pigeons with bird food she had brought from the market on Bradshawgate last Monday, January 27, when she was approached by a Wigan Council environment enforcement officer.

He informed her she was in breach of section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act and issued her a fixed penalty notice for littering.

Her son, who asked to remain anonymous, is furious that his mother wasn't given a warning instead and that there is no process for appeal.

He said: "How is my mother supposed to know that she was in breach of some act? At the least there should be signs saying don't feed the pigeons.

"She has never been fined in all her 82 years and had to suffer the humiliation and embarrassment of this in full glare of the public. I rang to ask why she couldn't have been given a warning and was told that the council has a zero tolerance policy towards littering. I said she is a frail, old woman, but he wasn't interested.

"My mother lives alone on state pension and only just manages to get by - £50 is a huge chunk of her pension. She is distraught. I am so angry at the way she has been treated."

Terry Dunn, director of environment at Wigan Council, said: "Wigan Council discourages people from feeding pigeons in the town centre.

"The birds are classed as vermin as they carry and spread disease.

"Because of that, we do take the offence, which is treated as dropping litter, very seriously.

"I'd like to advise residents not to encourage pigeons by feeding them. Anyone caught will receive a £50 on the spot fine."