Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Dog-Fouling Drop-Off - but Rubbish on the Rise

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Dog-Fouling Drop-Off - but Rubbish on the Rise

Article excerpt

Byline: BEN O'CONNELL Local democracy reporter @benjaminoc

DOG-FOULING complaints in Northumberland have fallen for the second year running, but reports of litter and fly-tipping have both seen big jumps.

Reports of dog-fouling dropped by 28% in the past three years, with 1,933 received in 2016, 1,509 in 2017 and 1,398 last year.

The council puts this down to the success of its Green Dog Walkers' Scheme, launched in July 2017, whereby owners pledge to always clean up after their dog and dispose of the bag in a bin, while also encouraging others to do the same.

The scheme passed 2,000 members recently, meaning it "has far exceeded officer expectations and makes it the most successful scheme of its type in the North East".

However, according to Stakeford councillor Julie Foster the number of complaints has dropped due to a lack of action resulting from them.

Coun Foster said: "It's nice to see the fall in dog-fouling complaints, but the reason behind it is what concerns me.

"I have seen a number of people on social media saying what's the point in complaining, nothing gets done.

"I think we need a much bigger drive to get people to report it. It's still a big problem."

Northumberland County Council last year issued more fines for dog fouling than in 2017, as well as far more than any of the other local authorities in the North East.

There were 94 fixed penalty notices handed out in 2018, up from 80 the year before.

An update on environmental enforcement by Northumberland County Council was presented to Monday night's Castle Morpeth Local Area Council, and will also be discussed at the other local area councils this month.

Introducing the report, Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for the environment, said: "This is about two issues which don't seem that interesting but are very important to this council - dog poo and litter. …

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