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Ex-street cleaner takes dog mess to Carlisle council meeting

Former street cleaner John Shaw brandished a bag of dog mess when Carlisle City Council met last night.

John Shaw photo
John Shaw

He was so fed up with the state of the streets in Botcherby that he collected dog fouling in a supermarket carrier bag then brought the ‘evidence’ to show councillors.

Following a feisty exchange with the spokesman for environment, councillor Elsie Martlew, he was escorted from the chamber by chief executive Jason Gooding and director of governance Mark Lambert.

Mr Shaw, of Merith Avenue, Botcherby, had asked councillors: “How are you going to control the dog fouling, littering and rubbish where I live? I have never seen it so bad.”

He accused the authority of ignoring his complaints, adding: “It’s not very nice for people to have to pick up dog fouling when they’re paying the council for a good service.”

Mrs Martlew described his actions as “pretty crude”.

She said: “I’ve been around Botcherby. It isn’t bad at all. It is a shame a resident is talking the estate down.”

She said the Labour administration, which took control in May, took street cleaning “very seriously”.

“The Labour group proposed an extra £85,000 for two years [for street cleaning] in the budget and this has made a significant difference to what we can do,” Mrs Martlew added.

“We are looking at the whole service, more mechanisation – there are new vehicles on order and one was delivered today – and street cleaning has been synchronised with recycling collections.”

A rapid-response team had been set up to tackle grot spots. And a three-strong education and enforcement team would soon be in place.

Mrs Martlew said: “It is only by taking people to task on this antisocial behaviour that we will see improvements. If Mr Shaw gives us a little bit longer, perhaps we can allay his fears as far as Botcherby is concerned.”

Responding to a question from Conservative Liz Mallinson, Mrs Martlew revealed that it cost the council £25,000 a year to remove chewing gum from pavements.

She said: “If I had my way I would ban it. It’s a big problem. The more often you deep clean the worse the flags become and the cement between them gets washed away.”

The council is planning a campaign in schools to persuade youngsters not to drop chewing gum.

Have your say

I know John, he is a diamond. Mad as a box of frogs, but a lovely chap!!

Posted by Bobby Dash on 25 July 2012 at 20:50

Great, all this expense cleaning up! Why not spend the monies fixing it at source and STOP the dog fouling mess, take the dog owners to court.

Posted by Majinga on 24 July 2012 at 19:33

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