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Dive bombed

They have a problem with seagulls down Dumfries and Galloway way. So, like all good public managers these days, the council did the obvious thing and set up a "seagull focus group" - from which, in a rare bit of absenteeism, the gulls stayed away.

The education department is mindful that the birds could become a nuisance and, in a commendable reaction of which the Inspectorate would surely approve, noted: "There hve been no known complaints in regard of (sic) school buildings but this does not necessarily mean that the problem does not exist."

Among the focus group's suggestions was that the gulls might be shoed away through "disturbance" tactics. So anyone spotting highly paid education officials waving their arms about in a manic fashion should be sympathetic: it's nothing to do with the pressures of the job.

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