TIME to get down to the nitty gritty and fine the dozy dog owners refusing to clean up after their pets.
That’s the view of a concerned councillor David Ritchie who says just ONE dog owner has been fined in the last year for failing to clear up the mess left by their animal.
In recent weeks the Herald has been inundated with calls about dog fouling.
Councillor Ritchie said: “This is a huge anti-social behaviour problem and the council just don’t seem to be tackling it. Councillors get constant complaints about dog fouling and the council has totally failed to deal with it.
“I think it’s a nonsense. The council administration has been completely short sighted in its approach to tackling this problem.
“The decision to reduce the number of Community Safety Officers has made it easier for the small minority of people who let their dogs make this mess get away with it.
“The council’s environmental wardens are doing the best they can, but they are being given more to do without any increase in resources.
“More needs to be done to tackle this problem.”
The council cut the number of Community Safety Officers from 12 to three as part of its budget savings in 2010.Dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets face a £40 fine, which goes up to £60 if it is not paid within 28 days.
Kenny Simpson, head of housing and community services at East Dunbartonshire Council, said: “Community Protection’s four environmental wardens carry out dog fouling initiatives and enforcement within the community as part of their everyday duties.
“Additionally, since April 1, 2011, they have undertaken 17 enforcement action plan days targeting known ‘hot spot’ areas in relation to dog fouling.
“Patrols have taken place at times popular with dog walkers, for example, early morning and between 4pm and 6pm, however, they have only issued one fixed penalty notice.
“It seems that irresponsible dog owners mainly commit the offence when no-one is about to see them. Dog fouling is socially unacceptable and when the council receives a complaint about this its environmental wardens visit the area, investigate the matter where offender information has been provided, and can arrange for it to be cleaned up and sanitised.
“In addition, wardens regularly assess if more ‘no fouling’ signs are required and often post information through letter boxes of houses in a problem area to remind local residents to be responsible and pick up after their dogs.
“Further dog fouling initiatives are being planned for the near future.”
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