Councils join forces to send a message to dog owners

Uppingham town clerk Neil Wedge and Rutland County Council dog warden Barry Briggs support the Keep Britain Tidy We're Watching You campaign against dog fouling. Photo: Alan Walters MSMP-29-04-15-aw001 EMN-150429-123912001
Uppingham town clerk Neil Wedge and Rutland County Council dog warden Barry Briggs support the Keep Britain Tidy We're Watching You campaign against dog fouling. Photo: Alan Walters MSMP-29-04-15-aw001 EMN-150429-123912001

Councils and police are jointly backing a national campaign to encourage people to report dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets.

Uppingham Town Council has signed up to the We’re Watching You campaign run by Keep Britain Tidy to try to combat the problem of dog fouling.

Working with police and Rutland County Council dog warden Barry Briggs, the town council wants to persuade more residents to report irresponsible dog owners and fouling hotspots.

Uppingham town clerk Neil Wedge said: “Since starting my new role I’d been surprised about the number of comments from the community about dog fouling. These were weekly and the calls and comments were quite damning of dog owners, which was unfair for those owners who take responsibility for any mess created and clear it up.”

Mr Wedge approached the council about the We’re Watching You campaign, and councillors gave their support. Striking signs have now been put up around the town and calls from the public have helped identify problem sites.

Mr Wedge said: “The areas targeted so far are around Tod’s Piece, where football matches have been stopped frequently to clear dog mess, and the children’s playarea.

It’s going to help the people of Rutland. I hope we can encourage all the parishes and councils to take it on.

Rutland dog warden Barry Briggs

“In addition we have looked at the routes to and from the local junior schools and areas off Stockerston Road and Leicester Road used by dog walkers.

“We are using social media and the town website to aid further feedback and increase awareness. We are also appealing to the majority of dog owners, who are very considerate and do the right thing, to help us address the minority who fail to follow simple guidelines.”

Dog warden Mr Briggs said he was “over the moon” to see the council supporting the national campaign.

He added: “It’s going to help the people of Rutland. I hope we can encourage all the parishes and councils to take it on.

“It’s a problem everywhere. It only needs one or two irresponsible owners to go out twice a day. The majority of owners are responsible but the odd one or two spoil it for everyone.

“The Keep Britain Tidy campaign seems to be having a good effect. If we encourage people to respond to the signs we can observe hotspots and can divert our attention to them. We can really work together as a team. Hopefully it will cut the problem down.”

People can report dog fouling in Uppingham on 01572 822681.