Town council plans more action to combat dog fouling in Alnwick
Alnwick councillors have called for tougher action to be taken on dog fouling.
Town councillors want more dog owners to be fined for letting their pets foul pavements and parks.
However, they also want more bins and bag dispensers and greater efforts to raise awareness of the issue.
The discussion was prompted by a letter from a local resident to Alnwick Town Council.
Eleanor Tamhne, a parent at Swansfield Park Primary School, complained: ‘Every morning and afternoon we have to dodge a significant amount of dog mess on our way to and from school.
‘It is really disgusting and frustrating to have to clean the shoes of all my children before going into the house multiple times a week.’
Cllr Julia Lyford said: “As a dog walker, I feel there is more we could be doing. We definitely need to have more dispensers and bins but, on the deterrent side, I wonder if we get a fair amount of the resource the county has in terms of wardens and time?”
But Cllr Geoff Watson said: “It’s a very small minority of dog owners who are creating this problem and that is who we should be targeting. They just don’t care about free poo bags.”
Cllr Martin Harrington, who suggested leafleting problem areas, added: “We are having this discussion time and time again. We’ve got to get it by the scruff of the neck.”
As an initial step the town council has agreed to purchase dog poo bag dispensers and new warning signage.
They also want to promote Northumberland County Council’s Green Dog Walkers Scheme.
The county council will also be asked for more detail on how many fines have been issued in the town and key problem areas.
Beth Gascoigne, who volunteers for a local litter picking group, said: “The Green Dog Walkers Scheme is a little bit like preaching to the converted. The people who are going to sign up to something like that are not the ones leaving dog mess.
"As a dog owner myself, I see a lot of mess in Barresdale where I live and I do think you need to come in and fine people. Give out a lot of fines in a short space of time and people will soon learn they will be found out.”