‘Messy’ problem leads to action call

Residents in Brookfield and Edenderry Park are calling on Banbridge District Council to tackle a messy problem that has been plaguing the area.

The residents have said they are concerned about incidents of dog fouling in the area and feel that more should be done to deal with the problem and deter offenders.

They were of the opinion that offenders who permitted their dog to foul and failed to clean up should be named and shamed, in the same way that those who failed to pay their television licence were reported.

Councillor Marie Hamilton and Councillor Glenn Barr recently met with local residents to discuss their concerns.

Councillor Hamilton said that in her opinion, drastic action needed to be taken by the Council as the problem was escalating and members of the public were becoming exasperated.

She also said that the public needed to become more pro-active in relation to the issue as witness statements were required before enforcement action could be taken.

Councillor Ian Burns said that the more people served with Fixed Penalty Notices for allowing their dogs to foul without cleaning it up, the greater the deterrent and the stronger the message would become.

Mr Burns added that if a dog owner simply did not want to clean up after their animal then they shouldn’t bring it out into a public place and especially not into play areas and parks where dog waste could affect the health of both children and adults.

At a recent meeting of Banbridge District Council’s Environmental Services Committee, the Council’s Director of Environmental Services reminded councillors that it had been agreed in February that only the location and nature of the offence committed would be documented following the issuing of a caution of a Fixed Penalty Notice and not the individuals name.

This decision was agreed by the Council after legal advice was obtained on the whole issue. The Director added that if a case was brought before an open court, then it was deemed to be in the public realm and individuals names could be reported.