Dog walkers do pick up mess, says councillor

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Latest environment news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A Hadleigh councillor has leapt to the defence of dog walkers in the face of mounting criticism from fellow residents.

Dog fouling has been an issue in the town for some time and reared its ugly head again at a town council meeting at the end of April.

Mr Riley, however, said that, on the whole, most people do take responsibility for clearing up after their pet.

“Where I walk, I don’t see dog fouling,” said Mr Riley.

“When I see people with dogs, they tend to have bags on them, but I accept that in some areas it might be prevalent and, if so, it can be unpleasant.”

Mr Riley, pictured, said any issues that do exist should be sorted out by better education.

He added that leaflets could be given out with the yearly council tax notices, while the number of bag dispensers and dog waste bins, particularly in areas popular with dog walkers, could be increased.

“These are cost-effective ways of dealing with the problem,” he said.

“Most people are responsible and may just forget a bag. Others should be made aware that the streets and parks are not public toilets.”

One idea Mr Riley was quick to snub was the use of taxpayers’ money to fund patrols by Babergh wardens.

“The idea that this money could be spent on something people can do for themselves is horrifying,” he said. “It should be spent on other front-line jobs.”

Town clerk Carol Bailey admitted that she rarely saw dog mess on the streets, but said: “Residents seem to believe there is a problem and the police believe there is a problem.”

She suggested people should have the confidence to tell other dog walkers to pick up any mess.