DOG fouling has become such a problem at the town’s tennis courts that it was unable to host coaching sessions, it has been revealed.
Martin Blencowe, chairman of Uttoxeter and District Tennis Club, said members were ‘losing the will to live’ as the dog foul continued to blight the tennis courts at Bramshall Park, despite dogs not even being allowed on the courses.
Before each session, the coach and chairman is tasked with cleaning off the course with water and disinfectant before the pupils can even get onto the courts but Saturday proved the final straw as the problem had become so bad the sessions had to be cancelled.
Councillor Blencowe (pictured), who sits on East Staffordshire Borough Council, said: “Unfortunately the action of the rain does not help other than to wash it into the porous surface and make it difficult to clean off. Prior to many tennis sessions, I and the coach have cleaned it off with water and disinfectant in the past.
“It has to be properly clean or else the tennis balls pick up the residue and transfer it to the hands of the players with the resultant health risk. This time round we lost the will to live.
“East Staffordshire Borough Council officers are on the case and will do a thorough clean but we do rely on the public to behave responsibly and keep their dogs off the courts. Signs are clearly visible but perhaps they do not realise the problems it creates.
“As we move into the spring and summer and the park and its facilities become more heavily used it would be helpful if we could raise awareness of this.”
Councillor Sonia Andjelkovic, the council’s deputy leader for regulatory services, said: “We are aware of an issue with dog fouling at Bramshall Park, particularly the tennis courts. The area is being thoroughly and regularly cleaned by the council’s contractors.
“Officers from the council’s community and civil enforcement team regularly patrol this area and are authorised to issue £75 Fixed Penalty Notices to anyone who fails pick up after their dog.
“Where individual dog owners do not desist from this anti-social behaviour the council can take prosecution proceedings.
“We would encourage anyone who witnesses this offence taking place to contact the council with dates and times of the offence, along with a description of the dog and owner by emailing email@example.com or calling 01283 508856.
“All reports will be treated in the strictest of confidence.”