Dog-owners across Carlisle look set to face extra charges to have their stray pets returned to them under plans set out by council chiefs – with fees hiked up if wardens are required to do it more than once.

There is currently a £30 charge when dogs are returned home without being kennelled according to the council’s website.

But from next year the authority is proposing to charge £45 for a first incident, and £125 if it happens again, according to its budget proposals.

The authority claims the charge for repeat incidents is intended to encourage responsible dog ownerships, and in a bid to prevent to stop dogs “roaming”.

The charge also reflects an increased cost of the service, which the council chiefs want to pass on to dog owners.

Kennelling service and out of hours collection of dogs is now provided by a new more expensive contractor following the retirement of the previous contractor.

But speaking at a meeting of the Business and Transformation Scrutiny Panel, Tory councillor Gareth Ellis hit out at the plans, suggesting that only those who fail to have their dogs microchipped and collared should be penalised.

He said: “This is quite a change from the existing situation. I don’t have a problem with increasing charges for repeat offenders. But if you are going to have multiple incidents, it should be based around whether your dog is collared and microchipped. It seems to me that this would be a better approach.”

He added that it was “substantially” easier and less expensive to return a dog that was collared and microchipped to its owner.

Deputy Leader Les Tickner said he was happy to bring coun Ellis’s suggestion back to the executive for consideration.

Kennel costs for stray dogs are also set to rise next year under proposals outlined in the city council’s 2019/20 budget repo