Joining forces to tackle dog mess

Linda Shields of Dyke House Residents' Association, Coun Stephen Thomas and Father Graeme Buttery at St Oswald's Church
Linda Shields of Dyke House Residents' Association, Coun Stephen Thomas and Father Graeme Buttery at St Oswald's Church

A COUNCILLOR has joined forces with a priest and a residents’ association to call for an end to a “pandemic” of dog fouling around a church.

Labour councillor Stephen Thomas claims his Dyke House ward, in Hartlepool, is being blighted with mess that local pet owners are refusing to pick up.

The problem is said to be particularly bad around St Oswald’s Church, in Brougham Terrace, with dogs being allowed to roam on the surrounding grass patches to do their business that is not being collected.

He has joined Father Graeme Buttery and the Dyke House Residents’ Association to tell owners to “take responsibility” and clean up their act.

Coun Thomas said: “This is a long running issue, but it is now getting to pandemic proportions and is bringing the area down.

“There needs to be a strong message that dog owners need to clean the problem up.

“There has been some enforcement in the area by the council but people need to start taking responsibility themselves.

“It is not acceptable and needs to stop.”

Fr Buttery said the problem has become steadily worse over the last two years.

He has described seeing about “20 to 30 messes” around the building every day and claims some dog owners are picking up the mess and bagging it, but then dropping the bags on the pavement rather than carry them to a bin.

He said: “It is horrible. We have children and parents going past the church all the time and it is a potential health hazard.

“Sadly it is getting worse and all we can put it down to is unmitigated laziness.

“ It happens all year round but seems to be worse in the winter, perhaps because of the weather and that people don’t want to stop, but it’s not acceptable.

“We are not asking for much.

“All we are saying is pick it up and take it home. Don’t leave it for someone else to find.”