First councillor as poo enforcer

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A RURAL councillor from north Northumberland will become the first in Britain to be given powers to fine dog foulers with a £75 fixed penalty notice.

Coun Steven Bridgett, whose ward covers Rothbury and its neighbouring parishes, will be accompanying one of the county council’s dog wardens later this month as part of his training for the role.

The move comes as part of wider powers being adopted by the authority to clamp down on wayward dog owners.

And he has backed the Gazette’s Scoop The Poop campaign, vowing to slap any offenders in the close-knit community with a ticket if they fail to clean up after their pets.

“It will probably make sure that I don’t get elected next time round, but it’s the right thing to do,” said Coun Bridgett. “I take the stance that if you can’t be bothered to pick up your dog’s mess, then you shouldn’t own a dog in the first place.

“Somebody needs to take a strong stand on dog fouling. It is always in the top two complaints I receive as a county councillor.

“Unlike the council’s dog wardens, who work at set times of the day and cover a large area, I will be around all the time, including evenings and weekends.

“If I see anybody, at any time, failing to pick up – whether I know them or not – they will be given a fixed penalty.”