Dog fouling on the rise

Anti-dog fouling sign, Mesnes Street, Wigan
Anti-dog fouling sign, Mesnes Street, Wigan

WHILE complaints of litter and fly-posting have decreased, reports of dog fouling in the borough are on the rise.

A report presented to a Wigan Council Scrutiny Committee revealed that during September 2011, the street cleansing team received 204 complaints about litter.

Although the number of complaints had fluctuated during the six months previous, they were still down by 10 since April 2011.

Complaints from residents about graffiti in September have halved with 47 being reported compared to 94 in April.

The report revealed that complaints about fly-tipping have also gone down with 209 reported in September compared to 257 recorded complaints in April.

While these decreases were positively welcomed by members of the scrutiny committee and the street cleansing team, the report noted that complaints about dog fouling have risen from 47 in April to 52 in September, 2011.

However, since the introduction of a fixed penalty enforcement rota last year, just 88 fines had been issued by the council for both dog fouling and littering.

The Wigan Evening Post recently reported that just 34 cases of dog fouling have resulted in action being taken against people in the borough since April 2009.

The figures that were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act revealed that in the past two years only 28 fixed penalty notices were issued by the council in regard to dog fouling, along with six warning letters to juveniles.

Joanne Makin, service manager of neighbourhood teams told the committee said: “We act on intelligence from local residents to combat the issue of dog fouling. We have got better at communicating with local people.

“We have been going into schools where there are problems with dog fouling and other areas where dog fouling is a problem, and working hard to tackle it.

“We are not complacent and we have a pro-active approach to dealing with these issues.

“We always welcome and urge people to report dog fouling to us to that we can prosecute and eliminate the problem.”