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Zero tolerance for dog owners

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: November 09, 2012

By James Brindle

Comments (10)

THE scourge of dog fouling in the Heath area of Uttoxeter has seen the borough council warn owners that it is taking a ‘zero tolerance’ stance.

On Friday a neighbourhood warden and parks officer from East Staffordshire Borough Council took to the streets to warn residents about the ongoing issue.

They visited Grange Road, Holly Road, Princess Road, The Hornbeams and Windsor Road to letter drop all residents in response to a complaint regarding the amount of dog fouling in those areas.

Allowing a dog to foul and not pick up the mess is an offence under the revised Dog Control Orders (DCOs) which were made under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

Philip Somerfield, head of regulatory services at the borough council, told the Advertiser: “We operate a zero tolerance policy and our neighbourhood wardens and neighbourhood parks officers will issue fixed penalty notices of £75 to anyone found to be offending.

“In certain circumstances, prosecution action can also be undertaken.

“The responsibility to pick up fouling falls with the person in charge of the dog at the time and not necessarily the owner.

“Not being aware that the dog has fouled or having a bag to ensure removal is not acceptable as a defence, so you should always carry a bag with you which must be disposed of in an appropriate litter bin.”

Having previously consulted with residents, parish councils and other community groups on the most suitable locations for their use, DCOs were introduced for failing to pick up after a dog, not keeping a dog on a lead in a prescribed area, the exclusion of dogs in specific areas and the requirement to put a dog on a lead by ‘direction’.

The borough council has recently undertaken a further consultation and will publish any new areas involved in due course.

Areas currently covered by the orders are available on the borough council website but include Bramshall Road Recreation Ground and Pennycroft football pitches in Uttoxeter where dogs are required to stay on leads.

Dogs are also required to stay on leads in areas in Bramshall, Stramshall, Draycott in the Clay and Ellastone, while dogs are excluded altogether from David Share Memorial Play Area, in Marchington, and the grassed area around the village hall in Stramshall.

The borough council said that if any member of the public knows of a dog owner who fails to pick up and can supply the name, address, time, date and place of offence, they can contact the team who will investigate the offence, issue a fixed penalty notice and proceed to prosecution if necessary.

Philip Somerfield added: “We rely on the public for information and we are prepared to name and shame, should these offenders be caught.

“Help us to keep your area clean and free of dog foul. You can report offenders or hotspot areas by contacting the neighbourhood wardens or parks officers team on 01283 508526.”

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  • UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  December 31 2012, 10:55AM

    I don't think the DCOs cater for those adults with an irrational fear of dogs. So I guess you are now better off walking somewhere else Darren. May I suggest that there are many nice places in the area you can walk in comfort, but this cannot be said for dog owners who wish to have their dogs off lead.

  • Neil, what about the adults who have a fear of dogs, do they have to go the childrens area. I used to love going to park and walking along Picknals brook. However I can't because of dogs running loose, yes most won't harm but it still makes me very uncomfortable. Its a Public Park so dogs should be on leads so everyone can use it and be comfortable there.

  • So a minority of irresponsible dog owners should mean all dogs are banned? Then we should also ban teenagers as a minority seem to be responsible for the broken glass in the carpark and on the paths (which I regularly collect). We can't keep going down the route of banning everything or people will soon start to ignore those bans already in place

  • I moved back to Uttoxeter from down south in1986.I took my 3 children and some others to the Bramshall road Recreation Ground. Within 5 minutes most of them were covered in dog mess. I phoned and complained to the local council, they inferred that there hands were tied. I then suggested I would write to the local Press,They said that if I did, make sure my name and address was not made known as I would suffer reprisals fron dog owners. I suggested that the Bramshall Road Recreation Ground be made a dog free area. They said this could not be done as there would an outcry from dog owners. In that case why not make the area down by the Hockley a dog exercise area, at least parents would know and be able to take precautions. So here we are 26 years later, putting youngsters at risk from dog fouling by aminority of irresponsible dog owners,

  • It talks about the dogs but in most cases an owner is with them, but have just seen a cat squatting in a childrens park, so what should be done about that

  • Having checked the ESBC website, the DCO does not apply to the whole of Bramshall Road Park, only to the fenced off childrens area. I walk my dogs off the lead there all of the time and they cause no bother to anybody. If your children are frightened of dogs, then it would be better to keep them in the dedicated childrens area where the swings are

  • It would be fantastic if you could enforce the keeping dogs on a lead at Bramshall Recreation Ground and Pennycroft Park. but you will never or cannot enforce it.because nobody knows about as there is NO NOTICE to warn people. and furthermore the park staff do nothing about it. and yes I am a dog owner.

  • Zero tolerance is definately justified by the Borough Council on the subject of dog fouling.There is no excuse for dog owners to not pick up mess left by their own dog. If it can be proven who is responsible, I agree, they should be warned or fined.Not having a bag is not an excuse: Use a bundle of leaves instead. Not pleasant but it's not going to kill you is it? Being a responsible dog owner who regularly walks my dog in Bramshall Road Park, I have found the majority of other owners DO clear up after their dogs. Let's hope this continues, as the park is a wonderful open space and it would be a shame if a few irresponsible dog owners spoilt it for everyone else. Is there a similar policy for those who have aggressive dogs and let those off the lead, as personally I have experienced more problems on this front than with fouling?

  • UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  November 07 2012, 10:35AM

    It would be fantastic if you could enforce the keeping dogs on a lead at Bramshall Recreation Ground and Pennycroft Park as i am afraid to take my dog and young children as we have been knocked over and and been scared by dogs off the lead here...

  • I totally agree. I have a dog and I walk him every day. I never fail to clean up my dog's foul, but the amount of dog foul left in parks and on the streets is absolutely shocking and the worst I've seen in any area I've lived. The public need to be reporting these people.