20k dirt bags to tackle out of ordure dog fouling
LONDONDERRY UK City of Culture 2013 has ordered 20k dirt bags to try to stop foul dog owners and their pets making a mess on our pavements and parks as the Sentinel today reveals only ten irresponsible owners were fined between 2005 and last month despite over 1,000 complaints having been registered by members of the public.
In order to try to get to grips with those dog owners who don’t seem to care about anyone else Derry City Council has ordered a whopping 20,000 poop scoop bags to distribute through local community centres and Council facilities.
It comes as the Sentinel today reveals the local authority’s execrable record on excrement.
Although there were 1,284 complaints made to Derry City Council between January 1, 2005 and September 1, 2012 only ten fixed penalty notices have been issued in the city.
Incredibly, although the number of complaints by outraged citizens peaked in 2009 at 237 not a single fixed penalty notice was issued in that year.
However, single irresponsible dog owners were fined in 2005, 2007 and 2008. Five were rapped in 2011 and two have been issued with notices sofar this year.
Releasing the information in response to a Freedom of Information request, a spokesperson for the local authority said it does not hold a record of dog fouling initiatives but does promote the message throughout the year through engagement with community associations and schools.
“The message is regularly highlighted in local media and local radio interviews, and at Derry City Council’s monthly Environmental Services Committee meetings,” the spokesperson stated.
But now the Council is set to really ratchet up the drive for a cleaner city ahead of Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013.
It has ordered 20,000 poop scoop bags. That’s a dog dirt bag for nearly every family living in Londonderry.
“Presently the Council has ordered 20 thousand poop scoop bags to launch a poop scoop and responsible dog ownership campaign. These bags will be available at Council out centres, provided to community associations upon request and handed out by dog and litter wardens as they proactively patrol parks and popular public pathways,” the spokesperson stated.
Last year the Sentinel reported Derry City Council raised just £100 over the five years until April 2011 through fixed penalties for dog fouling - one of the lowest levels in Northern Ireland.
Only Strabane (£50) and Ballymoney (£50) raised a lower amount. The £100 sum in Londonderry was equal to that raised in Limavady and Dungannon/South Tyrone.
According to figures released by the Environment Minister Alex Attwood £50 was raised here in both 2010/11 and 2008/9.
Mr Attwood explained that under Article 4 of the Litter (Northern Ireland) Order 1994 it is an offence to permit a dog to foul.
A spokesperson for Derry City Council told us then that “in order to issue fixed penalty notices or prosecutions, dog wardens or enforcement officers must witness a person permitting their dog to foul and failing to clean up after it, making it difficult for Council to impose fixed penalty notices.”
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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