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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Carlisle council backs clean-up team to tackle city's dog mess problem

Carlisle City Council’s powerful executive committee has given its blessing to a plan that will more than double funding for an effort to rid streets of dog mess.

Ray Bloxham photo
Ray Bloxham

The proposal will allocate £155,000 to a community clean-up team, whose approach will combine enforcement, clean-up operations, and education to tackle issues such as fly-tipping and dog fouling.

The proposal compares to the £70,000 that was previously earmarked for the work.

Councillor Ray Bloxham, who is responsible for environmental issues, told Friday’s meeting of the executive the revised figure was agreed after cross-party talks.

He said: “The team will deliver targeted education, enforcement, and clean-up activities. They’ll provide extra staff for cleaning up – particularly dog fouling – and other reactive street cleaning.”

He said the educational aspect of the team’s work would aim to change the behaviour of the minority of dog owners who do not pick up their pet’s mess.

Council leader Mike Mitchelson said there had been unanimous support within the council for including the funding proposal in the budget, which councillors will vote on this week.

He said: “Despite the challenge of delivering a balanced budget, we are pleased to provide this additional support.”

He said the changes to the budget would not affect the council’s ability to provide a two-year council tax freeze, while investing in front-line services and promoting the city’s economic growth.

Mr Mitchelson said the executive had rejected a suggestion that a new dog warden should be funded by reducing the number of Carlisle Focus magazines it produces.

He said the magazine was a key communication tool for the council, and disseminated useful information.

The committee also approved that the revised budget plan should include £10,000 in for grants to the city’s community bank credit union, funding a campaign against loan sharks and pay-day loans; and £5,000 for a Churches Together project to help the homeless in Carlisle.

Councillor John Mallinson added: “We are more than happy to take these amendments on board and increase spending in these areas.

“I believe we have come up with proposals which the whole council would I presume be able to support.

“The changes are not enormous and leave our budget absolutely intact.”

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Should dogs be banned from Talkin Tarn?

Yes, a complete ban is the only way to prevent the mess

No, but instead of creating new tarn attractions the council should spend money on dog wardens

No, most dog owners are very responsible. Why spoil it for the majority?

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