Dirt prompts call for clampdown

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OWNERS are letting their dogs make a mess of new pavements in a picturesque seaside village, prompting calls for a clampdown by council-appointed wardens.

Residents in Alnmouth were pleased when the county council carried out resurfacing and strengthening of the paths along Northumberland Street, which had been cracked over the years by vehicles parking across the kerb.

But they have since had to contend with mounting mounds of dog poo being left behind on their pristine pavements by the pets of wayward owners.

And it’s not visitors to blame, according to parish council chairman Bill Bourne.

“There are some people in the village who have become quite persistent offenders,” he said. “They let their dogs wander with no idea of what they’re up to.

“When the new pavement went down, everyone thought it looked super. We have these wonderful pavements which are now covered in dog poo.

“This is one of the major issues in the village – it has been for some time – and if you ask anyone what they want something done about, then it’s almost certainly dog fouling.

“Our annual police forum takes place next week and I’m sure the laws relating to dog fouling will come up. I am also keen to see what the community can do about it.”

Under the revised dog control laws, which replaced a variety of local bylaws last year, it is an offence not to remove dog faeces, not to keep a dog on a lead or failing to do so when directed, or to permit a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded.

The parish council will now ask county council wardens to make random visits to Alnmouth and actively prosecute any offenders caught in the act of not cleaning up after their dogs.

Those committing an offence can be fined up to £1,000, although fixed-penalty notices of £75 are an alternative to prosecution, which would discharge liability for the offence.