Dog mess campaign to be extended following Gayton success

Anti-dog fouling campaign Gayton Primary School Poster winners. Back Row  LtoR Ava Black. Rachael Greeenhalgh ( Head Teacher )  Josh Fysh. Hannah Howes. Front Amy Litter Cllr Brian Long. ANL-160105-112642009
Anti-dog fouling campaign Gayton Primary School Poster winners. Back Row LtoR Ava Black. Rachael Greeenhalgh ( Head Teacher ) Josh Fysh. Hannah Howes. Front Amy Litter Cllr Brian Long. ANL-160105-112642009
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A new clampdown on dog fouling is set to be extended across West Norfolk following its success in one village.

Primary school pupils in Gayton have taken part in a competition to design posters promoting the anti-fouling message as part of the programme, which has also included patrols in known troublespots.

Officials say the campaign has significantly reduced the problem in the village and hope it will be similarly successful in other areas.

West Norfolk Council deputy leader Alistair Beales, who represents the Gayton ward, said: “Previously irresponsible dog owners are clearly being more community minded.

“Obviously there are still some owners who aren’t doing the right thing, but we hope this ongoing campaign will encourage them to think about the impact their actions have on others.”

Winners in the school’s poster design competition received their prizes, including book tokens and a framed copy of their design, from the borough council’s environment portfolio holder, and soon to be new leader, Brian Long, on Friday.

As well as the school’s involvement, residents have been encouraged to report concerns and incidents to the borough council including where fouling has occurred and information about the dog involved and its owner.

Owners can be fined £75 via a fixed penalty notice for allowing their dog to foul and patrols have been taking place in some areas as part of the campaign.

Information about where the village’s dog bins are located has also been displayed.

Mr Long said: “Tackling the issue of dog fouling is complicated. It isn’t possible to be everywhere all the time.

“Our approach is to make people aware that our officers could be anywhere at anytime to catch dog owners not picking up after their dog, but also to get the local community more involved so that the issue is, to a certain extent, highlighted and then self policed.”

The campaign is now set to be extended to other areas of the borough where dog fouling is known to be a particular problem.

Members of the public are also being encouraged to report issues in their areas, so enforcement efforts can be targeted where they are most needed.

Mr Long said: “The success of this initiative relies on the involvement of the local community.

“People need to encourage others to do the right thing, help by pointing out where waste bins are and remind owners not only of the risk of being fined but also the issues that can be caused to others by not picking up after their pooch.

“Pupils and residents of Gayton have all got involved and its really helped to make a difference.”

Concerns about dog fouling can be reported on the council’s website, www.west-norfolk.gov.uk and searching for dog fouling.