'Just one fine issued for dog fouling in two years is ridiculous' - South Lakes councillor (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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'Just one fine issued for dog fouling in two years is ridiculous' - South Lakes councillor
THE issue of just one fine for dog fouling by South Lakeland District Council enforcement officers in the last two years has been branded ‘a betrayal’.
Coun Ben Berry, the council’s shadow member for policy, performance and resources, said it was ‘ridiculous’ that only one irresponsible dog owner had been caught.
In a meeting of full council he called on cabinet members to bring in a private firm to crack down on offenders on a per fine profit share basis.
“We need to clean up the streets of South Lakeland and give a real deterrent to the irresponsible few who wreck it for the rest of us,” he said after the meeting.
“To defend a record of just one dog poo fine in two years is ridiculous; people don't believe the council have a hold on the situation.”
Coun Berry had proposed the trial as an amendment to the council’s budget for the coming year.
He called for a 12-month trial to outsource Dog Control Orders and litter enforcement, with a view to generating revenue via a profit sharing agreement between the council and the supplier.
“Part of the revenue generated would be offset against costs to provide greater information on good dog ownership to our visitors and residents,” he said.
Coun James Airey backed his proposal saying residents wanted action.
“This council is bad at enforcement and I think individuals are overstretched,” he said. “One fine for dog mess is appalling frankly. It is an issue that comes up time and time again. It is about time we ran a trial and asked a private company to look at this.”
A spokesman for SLDC said: “The role of enforcement and monitoring officers (EMOs) is to raise awareness and educate the public that dogs being allowed to foul and then not cleared away is irresponsible, unacceptable and a form of anti-social behaviour.
“This is in accordance with the Streetcare Enforcement Policy. The issuing of fixed penalty notices is a last resort.
“EMOs advise the public whilst on the numerous enforcement patrols they carry out throughout the district. Dog owners are fully aware that they must clean up after their pet and dispose of it in a waste bin. The EMOs also target particular areas of complaint.
“Their other duties include health and safety checks of the waste and street cleansing, grounds maintenance, recycling bring site, bulky waste and weed spraying contracts.
“They also provide community liaison and support on a range of matters including the migration of travellers through the district to Appleby Fair and other waste related and street care matters including fly-tipping and abandoned vehicles.”