Pledge for tougher action on dog owners who 'disrespect' Hartlepool after anger over the failure to fine them

Council bosses have pledged to take action to tackle the problems of dog fouling and littering in Hartlepool.

Monday, 4th November 2019, 4:45 pm
Signs warning dog owners in Hartlepool

It came after a question was put to Hartlepool Borough Council calling for action over the issue.

The question, from resident Michael Wilson, said he believed the council policies ‘are absolutely useless and both ineffective and inefficient in tackling the major problem of littering and dog fouling in the town’.

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Coun John Tennant, chair of Neighbourhood Services Committee, said new ways to tackle the issues are being looked at and action plans are being put in place.

He said: “We address issues of dog fouling by raising awareness by both education and enforcement.

“I’ve already asked the department to review performance which has already resulted in action plans going forward, we’ve already got wheels in motion to try and improve the performance.”

Other councillors also raised concerns about the issue of dog fouling and called for help from residents alongside improved actions from the council.

Coun Paddy Brown said: “I do agree we do need public support over this, but what we are doing at the moment is clearly inadequate.”

Coun Brenda Harrison said: “The whole thing reflects a lack of respect. If you have a dog that poops on the pavement and you leave it that’s a lack of respect for the other people who live there, and that’s what we need to deal with.”

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher said the council should look at providing two separate enforcement teams, one for car parking and similar issues, and one for dog fouling and littering, with currently one team addressing both.

He said: “I think this is a really important issue. As an elected member, most of the enquiries that come in relate to litter and dog-fouling in the ward.”

Coun Tennant said he was happy to have discussions over the issues with the Neighbourhood Services Committee, and also called for resident intelligence to help catch culprits.

He said: “In Hartlepool we recently introduced public space protection orders which place an additional responsibility on dog owners. Mainly, that in addition to being required to pick up their dog’s waste dog walkers must also carry the means to be able to pick up after their dog.

“In terms of what assistance the public can provide, we have only a limited officer resource for this area of enforcement and it is often extremely difficult to catch irresponsible dog owners who fail to pick it up.

“In this respect we would request that any reports or submitted intelligence from the public include as much detail as possible.

“We can use the intelligence to best deploy the team, even if that means working outside core working hours.”