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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Dog fouling hit squad to patrol Carlisle streets

Carlisle is set for a blitz on dog fouling.

Labour and Independent councillors joined forces last night to force through amendments to the Conservative-run council’s budget for 2012-13.

These will see:

  • £75,000 over two years for a ‘hit squad’ to clean-up dog fouling and to issue fixed-penalty notices to owners who fail to clean up after their pets;
  • £15,000 for a six-month post to “educate residents” on dog-fouling;
  • £23,000 a year for two part-time wardens to clean up areas where fouling is especially bad.

The temporary posts will be funded from council reserves while the part-time wardens will be paid for by cutting spending on consultants and producing Carlisle Focus once a year instead of twice.

Labour’s Colin Stothard promised that the hit squad would target other nuisances too.

He said: “We want to create a new, high-profile team to tackle litter, graffiti, chewing gum and dog fouling, and to issue fixed-penalty notices.

“Have Carlisle’s streets improved in the last two years? A lot of people think they have got worse.

“Let’s send a message as a council – our intention is to clean up Carlisle.”

Conservatives argued the extra money was unnecessary because their budget included £70,000 for enforcement. But there was all-party support for another Labour proposal to give £5,000 to Carlisle and District Credit Union to fund a publicity campaign against loan sharks and pay-day loans.

The council will also provide £5,000 to Carlisle Churches Together to support work with the homeless.

Labour councillors were jubilant at defeating the Conservatives over dog fouling.

The Tories have run the council since 1999, latterly with Liberal Democrat support.

The death of Liberal Democrat Jim Tootle last November altered the balance of power, allowing Labour and the two Independents to outvote the Conservatives and Lib Dems.

However, the bulk of the Conservatives’ budget was passed unopposed.

This includes a freeze in the council’s share of council tax bills for the second year running.

Some charges for services will rise but many parking tariffs are being cut to help city-centre retailers.

Council leader Mike Mitchelson promised to freeze council tax again in 2013.

He said: “It is unjust to unnecessarily burden our residents, especially in these financially-hard times.”

He said the council had made £3m of annual savings through its ‘transformation programme’ and would save another £2.57m over four years. He added: “We remain committed to maintaining front-line services such as waste collection and street cleaning.”

The revised budget must go back to the council’s executive and will be presented again to the full council at a special meeting on February 23.

Related story: Colour co-ordinated blitz on dog poo in Cumbria

Have your say

We should be able to exercise our dogs on parks. Dogs need secure places to run and play. Kids play facility's are secure, usually have railings around the facility's and dog owners respect this. Where are the facility's for the hundreds of dog owners in our community's? Councils should consider providing us with our own areas where we can enjoy being out with our pets. Maybe provide dog agility equiptment, people meet and talk while their dogs chase and play, people could participate and enjoy watching dogs playing and training. It could help the community. I agree with the fouling campaigns across the country but hope it doesn't turn into a witch hunt that stops us and our dogs doing anything. Fine fouling not playing.

Posted by R.Ward on 7 April 2012 at 00:35

On-the-spot massive fines for owners who do not pick up after their pooches would then enable the council to afford to employ wardens for every area of Carlisle, because the amount of poo on our streets would rake in an enourmous amount of money. Also naming and shaming the owners on the front page of the N&S may also help in keeping our streets cleaner.

Posted by anon on 13 February 2012 at 10:26

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