ANGRY residents have set up an online petition calling on council bosses to deal with the growing seagull problem.

The petition, which has more than 280 signatures, says the gull population is on the rise in Cumbernauld and is causing havoc in the ­local community.

Residents in Carbrain claim the birds are being disruptive leaving a mess and creating noise.

They are now urging the council to step in and tackle the issue.

Kris Thomson, from Cumbernauld, said: "I am woken up at 3.30am most mornings with their squawking and my ­windows are constantly caked in their droppings."

The petition has the support from MSPs who are asking the council to follow the example of Dumfries and Galloway where the council introduced a cull to deal with a similar problem.

MSP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth Jamie Hepburn, said: "I welcome this ­petition and the opportunity it presents both for local residents to make their voices heard and for the placing further pressure on the Council to act."

North Lanarkshire Council said there was little it could do.

A spokesman said: "The gulls are following their natural instincts to protect both nests and their young.

"In 2012 we spent £4500 on egg and nest removal on one building and residents didn't notice any difference.

"Multiply that by 50 sites in Cumbernauld and the potential cost rises to more than £250,000 a year for at least three to five years.

"The Dumfries and Galloway experiment was paid for by the Scottish Government and had little effect on gull numbers.

"Culling the birds would be difficult in an urban area and be cost prohibitive.

"We would also face criticism from animal welfare groups."