Action on dog dirt promised

A seaside town branded messy and untidy, amid concerns over increasing amounts of litter and dog dirt, could see a change in fortunes, as more attention will be given to tackle the issues.

Last month, councillors in Amble voiced their dismay at the deteriorating state of the town, claiming there was a problem with the amount of rubbish being dumped and faeces left.

But following a growing number of complaints, Northumberland County Council’s public protection service has said it will increase patrols in the town to combat the dog mess problem. Enforcement action has been taken and further activities are planned.

Offenders can be given an on-the-spot £75 fixed penalty notice.

If they refuse to pay the fine, they can be prosecuted and can face a court appearance with a maximum penalty of £1,000.

Police and the county council’s dog control service are also trying to tackle the issue of stray dogs in the town.

While not linked to the complaints, the county council has also changed the way it will carry out street cleaning in Amble.

The authority believes this will lead to an improvement in the town’s cleanliness.

From April, the town centre will be litter-picked every day of the week, with a full mechanical sweep at least four times a year.

A county council spokeswoman said: “The change is that the town centre in Amble will be hand litter-picked rather than mechanically swept each day. We should see an improvement in cleanliness as the litter-picking will be done by hand seven days a week, and it is much more of a concentrated effort and a detailed sweep.

“The mechanical sweeper will still sweep Amble a minimum of four times a year.

“This change is bringing Amble in line with other similar areas of Northumberland and is fully in line with national standards in the Environmental Protection Act.”

○ The public has been encouraged to report incidents of dog fouling or strays to the council, via the website at www.northumberland.gov.uk or by calling 0845 600 6400.