Uckfield councillors asked to consider dog fouling campaign

Uckfield town councillors are being asked to consider a campaign to encourage people to clean up after their dogs.

clean-up-after-your-dogThe request comes just as Wealden Council has approved, subject to the call-in process, a consultation on the introduction, of a Public Spaces Protection Order.

This would make it an offence for a person in charge of a dog not to remove that dog’s faeces from land indicated by the order.

The planning and development portfolio holder, Cllr Ann Newton, says: “The council has an important part to play in improving public health and maintaining standards of cleanliness and hygiene.

“The introduction of a PSPO, which will make it an offence for a person in charge of a dog not to remove that dog’s faeces, will continue the current work of the council, with assistance from partner agencies, to tackle the offence and provide a suitable deterrent.”

Uckfield town councillors are told, in a report by town clerk Holly Goring and assistant town clerk Christine Wheatley, that while the majority of owners do pick up after their dogs a few don’t, and they create a negative experience for others.

The report, which goes to the environment and leisure committee on Monday, says hirers of Luxford Field often have to check the field over and remove dog mess before holding events.

The Grasshoppers Junior Football Club say they have the same issues at West Park before play can commence.

The report says: “Town council staff have witnessed dog mess at Ridgewood Recreation Ground and have received complaints of dog mess in allotments, around the tennis courts at Victoria Pleasure Ground and near the play area at Ridgewood.”

“This behaviour cannot continue.

“Dog faeces can spread toxocariasis in varying forms which can lead to health problems including fever and abdominal pain, and the least common form of ocular toxocariasis can cause problems with sight and permanent loss of vision if left untreated.”

Wealden District Council introduced a dog control order in January 2015 and random patrols are undertaken by the district council’s street scene team.

People breaching the order could be issued with a penalty fine of £75, or be liable on summary conviction of a fine up to £1,000.

The town council report continues: “Despite the above dog control orders and notices placed by the town council dog mess is still found.”

‘No such thing as dog poo fairy’

Councillors are told Keep Britain Tidy runs a national campaign focussing on “There’s no such thing as a dog poo fairy” and local authorities and community groups can apply for campaign materials, including posters, for a small fee.

The report says bag and flag campaigns have been undertaken in Tonbridge and Malling Borough, and by Tunbridge Wells Borough in their hotspot areas, and they have been effective.

‘Any bin will do’

Tonbridge and Malling have also run a campaign saying “Any bin will do” to remind members of the public that dog waste can be disposed of in any bin.

“Bag and flag events have resulted in a 40%-60% reduction in these hotspot areas for other local authorities, it would therefore be worth trying to run a similar campaign here in Uckfield in an attempt to reduce dog fouling.”

Councillors are asked to note the report and advise the clerk if they would like to proceed with the “low cost but effective proposal”.

See also:

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