Parish councils may take lead on dog fouling

PARISH and town councils could be asked to gather intelligence for a local authority on dog owners who allow their pets to foul streets and parks.

The move is being considered after a councillor called for traffic wardens in the East Riding to be given the powers to crack down on dog fouling, after figures showed just two fines were issued last year.

East Riding Council is seeking guidance from the Government about whether parking enforcement officers could be used to issue the £75 fines. In the meantime it is looking to increase the pool of staff and partners able to provide intelligence to serve fixed penalty notices.

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The council is looking to contact the 168 town and parish councils in the area with the aim of providing training in establishing an offence under the dog control orders. The move is hoped to provide an “effective presence” in each parish.

The council is considering a pilot programme with interested parishes in areas where there is a “persistent” problem. But it says it will not expect parish and town councils to actually serve fines.

Coun Malcolm Boatman put a motion to the council after discovering that while traffic wardens issue about 1,000 tickets a month for parking matters, the authority’s three dog wardens handed out just two tickets for dog fouling in a year.

Coun Boatman said fining irresponsible dog owners was the only way to change their behaviour.

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He said: “I know it is not as easy as putting a parking ticket on a car, but unless we make an effort there is going to be no change and there will still be 500 plus complaints a year. Unless people get fined or there’s a real chance of them getting fined they are not going to modify their behaviour.”

Police and police community support officers can issue fines, as well as dog wardens and council enforcement officers. So far this year nine have been served, of which seven were for fouling.