Wantage councillors respond to requests to clean up our streets

In response to a flood of complaints from their constituents, Councillors Charlotte Dickson and Fiona Roper have taken action to stop dog fouling in Wantage and Grove.

“I have had a large number of phone calls and emails from local residents who have noticed an increased level of dog mess in the town over recent months” said Councillor Dickson, “and I have to agree it is becoming a real problem.”

The two Town and District councillors have decided to take action by offering free bags for dog waste which will be distributed from easily accessible locations in the town including the Civic Hall and a number of participating retail outlets.

“As dog owners ourselves, Charlotte and I know how easy it is to ensure your pet doesn’t leave a mess” said Councillor Roper “so by distributing free poo bags we hope to encourage all dog owners to clean up after their pets. We take the issue of dog fouling very seriously – dog mess is not only unpleasant but it spreads diseases which can cause illness and even blindness.”

“We have decided to fund the experiment ourselves” added Councillor Dickson “as we don’t feel that non-dog owners should have to pay for other people’s pets.”

Dog waste does not act as a fertilizer, when it breaks down it leaves toxins in the ground which are harmful to other animals, humans and the environment

It is estimated that 20-30% of stream pollution is caused by the toxins from dog waste being washed in to the water system causing a build up in algae which is harmful to fish and by infecting the water with E-Coli, leading to the closure of some beaches.

Under the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 a person who is in charge of a dog must clean up after it when it fouls any footpath, highway, verge or other open space to which the public have access.  It is therefore a crime to allow a dog to foul in any public area without clearing it up.  Those that fail to do so could face a fixed penalty notice of £50 or prosecution.

A list of distribution points will be placed on the town council website www.wantage.com/council